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What Is the Simple Present Tense? (with Examples)The simple present tense is quite simple to form (see spelling rules on the right), but it's not simple in terms of how it's used. In fact, it's quite complicated.
Examples of the Simple Present TenseThe simple present tense is used:
(1) To describe facts and habits:
- I like chocolate. (Fact)
- Angela runs a youth club full of glue-sniffers. (Fact)
- I ride horses in the summer. (Fact and habit)
- It always snows here in January. (Fact and habit)
- Dawn plays chess in the evenings. (Fact and habit)
This type of sentence, especially if it's describing a habit, will usually include a time expression like always, every year, never, often, on Mondays, rarely, sometimes, or usually.
(2) To describe scheduled events in the future
- The train gets in at 5 o'clock.
- It is low tide at 0234.
(3) To tell stories (particularly jokes) to make your listener or reader feel more engaged with the story.
- A horse walks into a bar, and the barman says, "why the long face?" (Compare to: A horse walked into a bar, and the barman said, "why the long face?")
- We heard the helicopter overhead. Suddenly, the radio bursts into life.
The Negative VersionTo create a negative sentence, use "do not" + [base form of the verb]. (Use "does not" with third person singular (he / she / it).) For example:
- I do not like chocolate.
- Angela does not run a youth club full of glue-sniffers.
- I do not ride horses in the summer.
- It does not always snow here in January.
- Dawn does not play chess in the evenings.
The Question Version
- Do I like chocolate?
- Does Angela run a youth club full of glue-sniffers?
- Why does it always snow here in January?
- When does Dawn play chess?
Forming the Simple Present TenseHere is an infographic explaining the simple present tense:
The Other Present TensesThe simple present tense is one of four present tenses. They are:
|The 4 Present Tenses||Example|
|simple present tense||I go|
|present progressive tense||I am going|
|present perfect tense||I have gone|
|present perfect progressive tense||I have been going|
Forming the Simple Present TenseThe simple present tense is quite easy to form. Let's take the verb to run (whose base form is run). In the simple present tense, run looks like this:
|First person singular||I run|
|Second person singular||You run|
|Third person singular||He/She/It runs|
|First person plural||We run|
|Second person plural||You run|
|Third person plural||They run|
In other words, it only changes in the third person singular (he / she / it). It adds either s, es or ies.
The Spelling RulesFor regular verbs, just add s:
- talk > talks
- improve > improves
- guess > guesses
- mash > mashes
- fix > fixes
- go > goes
- fly > flies
- study > studies
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See AlsoTenses Simple past tense Past progressive tense Past perfect tense Past perfect progressive tense Simple present tense
Present progressive tense Present perfect tense Present perfect progressive tense Simple future tense Future progressive tense Future perfect tense Future perfect progressive tense Glossary of grammatical terms