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Simple Present

The Simple Present



The simple present tense

This page will present the simple present tense:
  • its form
  • and its use.
Before you continue the lesson read the following passage and try to see how the verbs are formed and used.
James is a taxi driver. He drives a taxi. But on Sundays he doesn't drive his taxi. He stays at home.
The verb be, drive, stay are in the simple present.
(more on the simple present of the verb to be)

The forms of the simple present

The affirmative form of the simple present:

I, you, we, they
play.
He, she, it
plays.
Remember the verbs in the third person singular (he,she and it) always take an "s". For example, "he plays, she sings,it works..."
Examples:
  • Nancy and James speak good German.
  • Nancy works in a restaurant downtown.
  • The children play in the garden every weekend.

The interrogative form of the simple present:

Do
I, you, we, they
play?
Does
he, she, it
Examples:
  • Do you speak good German?
  • Does Nancy work in a restaurant downtown?

The negative form of the simple present:

I, you, we,they
do not
play.
don't
He, she, it
does not
Examples:
  • No, I don't speak German.
  • No, she doesn't work in a restaurant downtown

The use of the simple present:

The simple present is used:
  • to give your opinion - I like ice cream. I don't like spicy food.
  • to talk about schedules - The library opens at eight. It doesn't open at 7.
  • to talk about daily habits (routine actions)- Sara eats a cheese for breakfast every day. She doesn't eat cereal.
  • to give facts - The earth circles the sun. The moon doesn't circle the sun.

The spelling of the third person singular form of the simple present:

All the verbs take an "s" in the simple present when conjugated in the third person singular (he, she, it) form:

Examples:

  • I visit my parents every summer holiday. But my wife visits her parents every weekend.
  • My brother meets his girlfriend everyday.
So the rule is:
He / she / it + Verb + S
There are however some special cases. Here are the spelling rules:
Silent e
Vowel + y
Consonant + y
Verbs ending in o
Verbs ending in s, z, sh, tch, ch
close = closes
note = notes
play = plays
say = says
study = studies
marry = marries
go = goes
do = does
miss = misses
buzz = buzzes
hatch = hatches
finish = finishes
teach = teaches

Examples:

  • She drives to work every morning.
  • He says he plays football on the weekends

Exception:

  • The verb to have changes its forms as follows:
    I have two sisters and two brothers. But she has one sister and two brothers.
    I have = he / she / it has


Things to remember about the simple present:

1.In the interrogative forms, we use "do" or "does".
  • "Do you like the house?"
  • "Does she go to school?"
2; Verbs never take an "s" in the the negative and interrogative forms.
  • "Does he speak German?"
  • "Do they play soccer?"
  • She doesn't like ice cream.
3. don't is the short form of "do not". You can say either:
  • I do not speak Italian, or
  • I don't speak Italian.
4.doesn't is the short form of "does not". you can say either:
  • He does not listen to jazz music, or
  • He doesn't listen to jazz music.

Grammar Exercises - Simple Present



Do the exercises below on the simple present and click on the answers button to check your answers.

(Before doing the exercises you may want to read the lesson on the simple present )

Choose the correct form of the following verbs:

wake(s) up - open(s) - speak(s) - take(s) - do(es) - cause(s) - live(s) - play(s) - close(s) - live(s)


  1.    Ann hand ball very well.
  2. I never coffee.
  3. The swimming pool at 7:00 in the morning.
  4. It at 9:00 in the evening.
  5. Bad driving many accidents.
  6. My parents in a very small flat.
  7. The Olympic Games place every four years.
  8. They are good students. They always their homework.
  9. My students a little English.
  10. I always early in the morning.

Put the verbs between brackets in the correct form:

  1. Jane (not/drink) tea very often.
  2. What time (the banks/open) in Britain?
  3. Where (John/come) from?
  4. It (take) me an hour to get to work.
  5. She (not/wake) up early on Sundays.

Choose the right verbs to complete the sentences. Sometimes you need the negative:

write - turn - eat - tell - rise
  1. The earth around the sun.
  2. The sun in the east.
  3. Vegetarians meat.
  4. A liar is someone who the truth.
  5. A novelist novels.

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