Present Simple Tense
Form of the present simple tense
We add –s or –es to the base form of the verb in the third singular:
He plays football.
Most verbs add –s: work/works, play/plays, drive/drives, run/runs
Verbs normally add –es when they end in –o, -s, -x, -ch and –sh: do/does, miss/misses, mix/mixes, touch/touches, wash/washes etc.
When there is a consonant before –y, then it changes into –ies: cry/cries but compare: buy/buys, say/says, obey/obeys (in these cases there is a vowel before –y and only –s is added.)
The use of Present Simple Tense
1. For general truths, to express an action or event that is permanent and often involves repetition in the past, present and probably in the future. This is the “timeless” present:
Water boils at 100 degrees. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Summer follows spring. Gases expand when heated.
2. For an action or event that is regarded as permanent and that reflects current situation:
Anna works in Oak Street High School.
The present used in the above two terms is often regarded to as “neutral present”. Such present is characteristic of scientific and technical English.
3. For repeated or habitual actions or events. Such habits existed before now, and will probably continue to exist in the future.
They always take a walk in the evening. They snore heavily.
4. For daily habits:
Mary gets up at 6, has a breakfast, takes a shower and goes to work.
The English drink tea at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
5. With frequency adverbs or adverb phrases such as: usually, often, sometimes, hardly ever, never, on Mondays, twice a week
6. Present simple tense is also used instead of Present Continuous Tense with verbs which cannot be used in the continuous form such as: keep, understand, love, believe, know etc. I know what you mean. You look as if you have seen the ghost.
7. In commentaries on radio or TV: One of the players hits the ball and it goes straight to the goal.
8. In announcements: The shop opens at 9 a.m.
9. In newspaper headlines: The USA launches another rocket into space.
10. In stage directions: Hamlet talks to himself. Enter Ghost and Hamlet.
11. In summaries: The writer describes Oliver Twist as...
12. For a planned future action or series of actions: We leave London at 11.00 and arrive in Paris at 14.00
13. Timetables and schedules: The bus leaves at 10 o’clock.
14. Repeated actions: I go to cinema every day.
For expressing feelings and emotions:I love you.
- Verbs tenses
- Present Tenses
- Present Simple Tense
- Present Continous Tense
- Present Perfect Tense
- Present Perfect Continuous Tense
- Past Tenses
- Past Simple Tense
- Past Continuous (Progressive) Tense
- Past Perfect Tense
- Future Tenses
- The Simple Future Tense
- Future Continuous Tense
- Future Perfect Tense
- Future Perfect Continous Tense
- Stative and dynamic verbs
- Transitive and intransitive verbs
- Reflexive verbs
- Full verbs and auxiliary verbs
- Modal verbs
- Indirect speech