Present Simple Tense (Simple Present) with Useful Rules and Examples 1

Present Simple Tense (Simple Present) with Useful Rules and Examples

Present Simple! Learn useful grammar rules to use the Simple Present Tense in English with example sentences and ESL printable worksheets.

Present Simple

What is the Simple Present Tense?

The simple present tense of English language verbs is more complicated than the name suggests. In English grammar, the simple present tense is one of the verb forms associated with the present tense.

The simple present tense is typically used for the following four general cases:

  1. To express facts, general statements of truth, and common-sense ideas that everybody knows.
  2. To state habits, customs, and events that happen periodically.
  3. To describe future plans and events.
  4. To tell jokes, stories, and relate sporting events in real-time.

The key thing that simple present tense verbs ARE NOT used for is to talk about an action that subject is performing in the present. That usage is more geared towards present participles.

The first person, second person, and third person plural regular verbs are straightforward and are just like the infinitive form of the verb most of the time.

The third person singular has a couple rules associated with it that may take a bit of memorization at first but will become second nature through repetition.

  • To most regular verbs, add an s’ at the end.
  • To verbs that end in s’, ss’, sh’, ch’, th’, x’, z’, or o’, add an es’.
  • To verbs that end in y’, drop the y’ and add ies’.

Examples:

  • Infinitive: To Go
  • First Person: I go/We go
  • Second Person: You go
  • Third Person: He goes/They go

 

  • Infinitive: To study
  • First Person: I study/We study
  • Second Person: You study
  • Third Person: She studies/They study

 

  • Infinitive: To Mix
  • First Person: I Mix/We Mix
  • Second Person: You Mix
  • Third Person: He mixes/They mix

The simple present tense can be combined with several expressions to indicate the time when an action occurs periodically, such as “every Tuesday”, “always”, “usually”, “twice a month”, etc…Additionally, this form can be made negative or can be used in the interrogative form as well. There is a lot of flexibility to this so-called simple tense to express complex ideas.

In the next section are ten examples to demonstrate the different spellings and the various use cases described above. After that are several exercises to provide practice identifying the different forms of the simple present tense verb. As always, a good way to continually reinforce this information is to try and identify this type of verb while reading and always, always, always keep a dictionary or google search window handy.

Simple Present Tense Structure

Present Simple Tense with “TO BE” (am/is/are)

Affirmative sentence:

S + am/is/are + predicate…

Example:

He is a doctor.

Negative Sentence:

S + am/is/are + not + predicate…

Example:

He isn’t a doctor.

Interrogative Sentence:

Am/Is/ Are + S + predicate?

Example:

Is he a doctor?

Simple Present Tense with Other Verbs

Affirmative sentence:

S + verb + object…

Example:

We like tea.

Negative sentence:

S + don’t/doesn’t + verb + object…

Example:

We don’t like tea.

Interrogative sentence:

Do/ Does + S + verb + object?

Example:

Do you like tea?

Examples of the Simple Present Tense

  1. In the United States, Daylight Saving Time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
  2. My wife and I drink a toast to the New Year every January 1st.
  3. So, a horse walks into a bar and the bartender says “Why the long face?”….
  4. My company issues promotions and raises next week.
  5. The human body maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees.
  6. Do you like my cat?
  7. Does my dog wake you up when he barks at night?
  8. always feed my kids before sending them off to school.
  9. The best student in the class studies twice as much as anyone.
  10. The chef mixes fish shrimp with steak to make the best surf’ n turf’ in town.

How to Use the Simple Present

The Present Simple Tense Usage

The Present Simple tense is used to express:

General Truth

Example:

The sun rises in the east.

Habits

Example:

I play badminton every Tuesday.

Future Timetables

Example:

Our train leaves at 9 am.

Future after “When”, “Until”…

Example:

I won’t go out until it stops raining.

Permanent Situations

Example:

He works in a bank.

For Newspaper Headlines

Example:

Man enters space.

With Non-progressive

Example:

I believe that you are innocent.

When Telling Stories

Example:

Suddenly, the window opens and a masked man enters.

For Giving Directions and Instructions

Example:

First of all, you break the eggs and whisk with sugar.

Notes for the Present Simple

The basic form of the simple present is the same as the base form of the verb, unless the subject is third person singular, in which case a form with the addition of -(e)s is used.

  • For pronouns Iyouwethey, there is no modification for verbs.
  • For pronouns hesheit, a suffix is added following these rules:

For verbs that end in –o, –ch, –sh, –s, –x, or –z, the suffix –es is added

Examples:

Do – Does

Touch – Touches

Fix – Fixes

For verbs that end in a consonant + y, the letter y is replaced by the suffix –ies.

Example:

Try – Tries

Study – Studies

Carry – Carries

In other cases, the suffix –s is added.

Examples:

Cook – Cooks

Say – Says

Laugh – laughs

Time Expressions in the Present Simple Tense

  • This evening
  • At 10 am
  • When
  • Until
  • As soon as
  • After
  • Before
  • Twice a month
  • Every Tuesday
  • Often
  • Sometimes

Present Simple Tense Chart

Present Simple Tense

Simple Present Tense Exercises

Instructions: Each question will present a sentence with one or more empty spaces. The correct form of the verb or verbs must be selected from the answers given (A,B,C,D).

12 Verb Tenses in English

Learn all (12) tenses in English with useful grammar rules, examples and ESL worksheets.

Verb Tenses Chart

Present Simple Tense: Useful Rules & Examples

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Sootaga Ah Chee
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Sootaga Ah Chee

This is very useful for me to enhance my English grammar.

Well noted thanks

Rania
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Rania

Hello ?

Isco
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Isco

Hello

HEMANTHKUMAR R G
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HEMANTHKUMAR R G

The chart explains every thing in a simple way with all contents in it.

leonilda
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leonilda

thank yo so much. ir helped me a por.

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