What is Present Simple?
The present simple or simple present tense refers to a verb tense of the English language that denotes action in the current moment. It is simple because it is constructed with the base form of the verb: I love you. Many refer to this tense as English Present Tense or simple present tense, and we’re going to break it down for you here.
Examples of Simple Present Tense with Common Regular and Irregular Verbs
Here are a few basic examples of English Present Tense in situations of someone talking about themselves:
How to form the Simple Present Tense?
In English, as in other languages, the verb forms depending on the person — the subject — and this denotes the speakers’ relation to the participant.
Let’s review! These are the subject pronouns that are used to conjugate verbs:
This is how you form the simple present:
Present simple, third-person:
Did you notice that when you use the third-person singular (she, he, and it) in the simple present tense an –S is added at the end of the verb in its plain form.
There are a few verb exceptions where the third-person singular form ends in –eS instead of –S. This is usually the case of verbs that end in o, y, ch, sh, th, ss, gh, or z. A rule here to be aware of is that ch, sh, ss and z go with -es (and are pronounced as such) because the ending sounds of the verbs are too close to the -s sound, and then you cannot hear when someone is speaking in the third person singular.
Image trying to say:
In addition, please be aware that the verbs have, be, do, and go have irregular forms throughout the present tense depending on the grammatical person.
Irregular verbs don’t follow an exact pattern and therefore you will need to memorize each of them. Fortunately, some irregular verbs show conjugation similarities, and can therefore be grouped together, making it easier to memorize them.
How to Use the Simple Present?
The British Council suggests the simple present tense — English present tense — in the following circumstances:
- To describe something that is true in the present moment:
I am nineteen years old.
- To describe something that happens on a regular basis in the present:
He plays football every Sunday.
- To describe something that is always true:
Spring comes after winter.
- To talk about something that is fixed in the future:
My flight leaves from Heathrow Airport tomorrow at 6:00am.
- To refer to something in the future after time words such as when, after, and before:
We will save time when they finish the new roundabout and the flyover.
- To describe something after the words if and unless:
She likes to bake a cake for her kids on their birthday if it’s a small party; otherwise she orders one from the cake shop.
- To summarize a film, a book or anecdote:
Batman is a superhero with a black cape and a super cool car that fights villains in order to protect Gotham City.
How to Make Present Simple Negative?
To make a simple present verb negative, follow this formula:
Do/does + not + root form of verb
Note how the contraction doesn’t can also be used for the third-person singular and don’t for the others.
- At the moment they don’t accept credit cards because their point-of-sale terminal doesn’t work, but unfortunately I don’t have any cash with me today.
How to Formulate Questions in Simple Present?
When you ask questions in the simple present tense you use do and does in the same way for the grammatical persons. However, the formula is different:
Do/does + subject + root form of verb (?)
Here is a final illustration of what we’ve covered about present simple today:
- Do you believe in a higher power? I am an atheist and my husband was raised as a Roman Catholic. He doesn’t attend mass but his mother helps at their local church on Sunday mornings. It is a beautiful Gothic building. I think that, since you are an architect, you may enjoy a tour inside the cathedral. We have been in it a couple of times before they refurbished the façade. In fact, we will be able to see the choir’s recital if we get there before five o’clock. How does it sound to you? Are you up for it? You don’t have to answer right now. Let me know what you think after we finish our cup of coffee!