Understanding the Present Simple in English

Liked: 211 Time to read: 3 min

Mastering the nuances of the English language can be a daunting task. A pivotal starting point? The present simple tense. As a basic and foundational grammatical construct, you’ll find its equivalent in nearly every language, including Slavic ones.

If you’re diving into this piece, you’re either embarking on your English learning journey or brushing up on concepts you’ve previously explored. So, let’s simplify the present simple tense without overwhelming you.

What is the Present Simple Tense?

Put simply, the present simple tense is a straightforward verb tense in English that isn’t continuous. It’s not restricted to the verb ‘to be,’ but rather encompasses a broader range.

When to Use the Present Simple Tense

  • General statements & common knowledge: if you’re talking about general facts or universally acknowledged truths, use this tense.

The Queen of England resides in Buckingham Palace.

It’s common knowledge that the earth orbits the sun.

  • Regular or repeated actions & future scheduled events: this is for actions that aren’t happening right this moment but occur routinely.

I head to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday.

Our team meetings are scheduled for Mondays.

  • Describing habits: habits are repetitive actions or tendencies, so they naturally fit into the present simple.

She reads before bedtime.

They take a walk after dinner.

The crux? If an action is repetitive, consistent, or a widely accepted fact, the present simple tense is your go-to.

Crafting Sentences Using the Present Simple Tense

Formulating sentences in this tense is quite straightforward:

  • Positive sentences: just use the verb (minus “to”), and add -s/es for third person singular (he, she, it).

I eat lunch at noon.

She eats lunch at noon.

Notice the added “s” in the second sentence due to the third person singular “she”.

  • Questions and negatives: this is where auxiliary verbs do/does come into play. Start questions with “do” or “does”. Remember, “does” is for ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘it’; all others use “do.”

Do they have homework today?

Does she enjoy reading?

For answering, match the verb used:

Do you like apples? “Yes, I do.” or “No, I don’t.”

Does he like apples? “Yes, he does.” or “No, he doesn’t.”

However, for questions starting with who, what, where, etc., a mere “yes” or “no” won’t suffice. Provide more detailed answers.

  • Negative sentences: structure is: subject + do/does not + main verb.

I don’t prefer that color.

He doesn’t join us for movies.

Pro tip: “don’t” is short for “do not,” and “doesn’t” stands for “does not.” In conversational English, the shortened forms are more prevalent.

A Pinch of Flavor: English Sayings in the Present Simple

English is peppered with sayings and expressions, most of which are framed in the present simple tense. For example:

Practice makes perfect.

Still waters run deep.

Incorporating a few of these in your conversations can make you sound more fluent and add that native touch.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions about the present simple tense. Your journey with English is bound to be thrilling, and there’s always more to discover. Until next time, keep practicing!


Interesting Blog

  • Liked: 324

    7 best podcasts for learning English

    Have you been studying English for a long time but still struggle to understand native speakers? Different approaches work for different people. Some watch movies and TV shows without subtitles, some find a conversation partner and try to speak more with a native speaker, and others start listening to podcasts — whether at home in...

  • Liked: 301

    Unlocking the path to language tutoring success

    Many individuals contemplate changing their career path or field of activity but struggle to make a definitive decision, often due to uncertainty about their knowledge and preparation. This hesitation is commonly observed in the field of education as well. Someone might aspire to teach a foreign language but harbor doubts about whether their proficiency level...

  • Liked: 290

    How to plan your online teaching schedule

    In the ever-evolving landscape of online language teaching, establishing a well-structured teaching schedule is crucial for tutors aiming for success on platforms like Repetry. This guide delves deeper into each aspect of schedule planning, complete with practical examples, to help tutors create an optimized and balanced teaching routine. 1. Understand Your Availability Start by conducting...

  • Liked: 279

    Teaching English in Zoom: harnessing the power of online platforms

    Teaching is a dynamic process that demands educators to be abreast of the latest trends and innovations. In light of recent events, the notion that distance learning is not suitable for everyone has faded into insignificance. Online education, once considered inconvenient and niche, has now taken the lead and expanded human capabilities. Hence, the necessity...

  • Liked: 277

    Potential earnings for online language tutors

    If you’re passionate about sharing your language skills, Repetry offers a unique platform to earn income while making a difference.  Unlike traditional teaching jobs, Repetry puts you in control. Set your own rates, craft a schedule that fits your life, and connect with eager students from all corners of the globe – all from the...

View all