Simple Present (Present Tense)
Present Tense or some call it “Simple Present” is used to describe:
1. Habitual or repeated actions. For example: I usually go to the office at 7 o’clock every morning.
2. General truth or things in general or facts. For example: The sun rises in the East.
3. Fixed arragements or scheduled events. This use is to describe future. (Present Tense/Simple Present is one of the future tenses – tenses which can be used to describe future actions/events). For example: The train leaves for Jakarta every Friday.
The forms: (+) Subject + Infinitive (we add -s/-es to the infinitive verb if the subject is he, she or it)
(-) Subject + do/does + not + Infinitive (do -> I, you, we, they — does -> he, she, it)
(?) Do/does + Subject + Infinitive ?
do + not = don’t — does + not = doesn’t
I + am = I’m — She + is = She’s — You + are = You’re
is + not = isn’t — are + not = aren’t — am + not = cannot be contracted (it stays the same)
To be in “Simple Present” : –> is, am, are
Note : we use “to be” in a sentence if the sentence doesn’t have a “verb“. For example : She is at home. There’s no “verb” in this sentence, that’s why we have to use “to be” instead.
Signals : Every ….. (every day, every week, every Monday, etc), often, always, sometimes, never.
Simple present, third person singular
- he, she, it: in the third person singular the verb always ends in -s:
he wants, she needs, he gives, she thinks.
- Negative and question forms use DOES (=the third person of the auxiliary’DO’) + the infinitive of the verb.
He wants. Does he want? He does not want.
- Verbs ending in -y : the third person changes the -y to -ies:
fly flies, cry cries
Exception: if there is a vowel before the –y:
play plays, pray prays
- Add -es to verbs ending in:-ss, -x, -sh, -ch:
he passes, she catches, he fixes, it pushes
See also Verbs -‘Regular verbs in the simple present’, and ‘Be, do & have’
1. Third person singular with s or -es
a. He goes to school every morning.
b. She understands English.
c. It mixes the sand and the water.
d. He tries very hard.
e. She enjoys playing the piano.
2. Simple present, form
Example: to think, present simple
|I think||Do I think ?||I do not think.|
|You think||Do you think?||You don’t think.|
|he, she, it thinks||Does he, she, it think?||He, she, it doesn’t think.|
|we think||Do we think?||We don’t think.|
|you think||Do you think?||You don’t think.|
The simple present is used:
- to express habits, general truths, repeated actions or unchanging situations, emotions and wishes:
I smoke (habit); I work in London (unchanging situation); London is a large city (general truth)
- to give instructions or directions:
You walk for two hundred metres, then you turn left.
- to express fixed arrangements, present or future:
Your exam starts at 09.00
- to express future time, after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until:
He’ll give it to you when you come next Saturday.
BE CAREFUL! The simple present is not used to express actions happening now. See Present Continuous.
- For habits
He drinks tea at breakfast.
She only eats fish.
They watch television regularly.
- For repeated actions or events
We catch the bus every morning.
It rains every afternoon in the hot season.
They drive to Monaco every summer.
- For general truths
Water freezes at zero degrees.
The Earth revolves around the Sun.
Her mother is Peruvian.
- For instructions or directions
Open the packet and pour the contents into hot water.
You take the No.6 bus to Watney and then the No.10 to Bedford.
- For fixed arrangements
His mother arrives tomorrow.
Our holiday starts on the 26th March
- With future constructions
She’ll see you before she leaves.
We’ll give it to her when she arrives
SIMPLE PRESENT FOR FUTURE EVENTS
1. Form – see Simple Present section.
2. Simple present for future events – function
The simple present is used to make statements about events at a time later than now, when the statements are based on present facts, and when these facts are something fixed like a time-table, schedule, calendar.
a. The plane arrives at 18.00 tomorrow.
b. She has a yoga class tomorrow morning.
c. The restaurant opens at 19.30 tonight.
d. Next Thursday at 14.00 there is an English exam.
Note the difference between:
a. The plane leaves in ten minutes (= statement of fact)
b. The plane’s going to leave in ten minutes (= prediction based on present situation, meaning “…and if you don’t hurry up you’re going to miss it!”)
Source : englisch-hilfen.de and English4Today