The Simple Present Tense

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The simple present tense is one of the basic verb tenses in English. It is used to describe actions that are habitual, routine, or generally true. In the simple present tense, the base form of the verb is used, except in the third person singular, where an -s is added to the verb.

simple present tense

Form and usage of simple present tense

Here is the basic structure of the simple present tense:

  1. Affirmative Statements:
    • I/You/We/They + base form of the verb
      • Example: I play tennis every weekend.
    • He/She/It + base form of the verb + -s
      • Example: She plays the piano.
  2. Negative Statements:
    • I/You/We/They + do not (don’t) + base form of the verb
      • Example: I don’t like coffee.
    • He/She/It + does not (doesn’t) + base form of the verb
      • Example: He doesn’t work on weekends.
  3. Interrogative Statements:
    • Do + I/You/We/They + base form of the verb + …?
      • Example: Do you speak Spanish?
    • Does + He/She/It + base form of the verb + …?
      • Example: Does she live in New York?
  4. Usage:
    • Habits/Routines: I brush my teeth every morning.
    • Facts/General Truths: The Earth revolves around the sun.
    • Scheduled Events: The train leaves at 6:00 PM.

Remember that when using the third person singular (he, she, it), you generally add an -s or – es to the base form of the verb.

Spelling for Verbs after the third person singular (he, she, it) in simple present tense

In the simple present tense, the general rule for adding -s or -es to the base form of the verb depends on the subject of the sentence. Here are the guidelines:

  1. For most verbs:
    • Add -s to the base form of the verb for third person singular subjects (he, she, it).
      • Example: play -> plays
      • Example: walk -> walks
  2. For verbs ending in -s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -x, or -z:
    • Add -es to the base form of the verb for third person singular subjects.
      • Example: kiss -> kisses
      • Example: fix -> fixes
    • Example sentences
      go – she goes
      watch – he watches
      push – she pushes
      miss – she misses
      fix – he fixes
  3. For verbs ending in a consonant + y:
    • Change the -y to -ies when forming the third person singular.
      • Example: study -> studies
      • Example: fly -> flies
  4. For verbs ending in a vowel + y:
    • Simply add -s to the base form for third person singular subjects.
      • Example: play -> plays
      • Example: say -> says
  5. For verbs ending in -o:
    • Add -es to the base form for third person singular subjects.
      • Example: go -> goes
      • Example: do -> does
  6. Irregular verbs:
    • Some verbs have irregular forms in the third person singular, and you need to memorize them. For example:
      • have -> has
      • do -> does
      • be -> is (am, are)
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Keep in mind that the rules above are general guidelines, and there are exceptions. It’s always a good idea to consult a reliable grammar resource or dictionary when in doubt about the correct conjugation of a specific verb.

Practice with these examples, and you’ll become more comfortable using the simple present tense in various situations.

I live in a small town near the coast.
She works for an airline.
They love working with children.
Every tourist buys a present from the night market.

Practice exercise

1. I ______________ at a bank.

A. work

B. works

C. working

2. She ____________ with her parents.

A. live

B. lives

C. living

3. Cows ______________ on grass.

A. feed

B. feeds

C. feeding

4. He ____________ a handsome salary.

A. earn

B. earns

C. earning

5. Janet ———————- to be a singer.

A. want

B. wants

C. wanting

6. Emily ____________ delicious cookies.

A. make

B. makes

C. making

7. Arti and her husband _____________ in Singapore.

A. live

B. lives

C. living

8. Rohan and Sania ____________ to play card games.

A. like

B. likes

C. liking

9. Sophia ______________ English very well.

A. speak

B. speaks

C. speaking

10. Martin _______________ for a walk in the morning.

A. go

B. goes

C. going

English Verb Tenses

There are three main verb tenses: past, present, and future. In English, each of these tenses can take four main aspects: simple, perfect, continuous (also known as progressive), and perfect continuous.

Let’s start learning all about English verb tense for free. Below is the list of English verb tenses

  • simple present tense
  • present continuous tense
  • simple past tense
  • past continuous tense
  • simple future tense
  • future continuous tense
  • future perfect tense
  • future perfect continuous
  • present perfect tense
  • present perfect continuous tense
  • past perfect tense
  • past perfect continous tense
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