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The simple present tense in English is like a snapshot of what’s happening now or what usually happens. We use it for routines, things that don’t change, facts, and plans set in stone. Making this tense is simple! You mostly just take the base form of the verb: “I take,” “you take,” “we take,” or “they take.” But when it’s about someone or something specific, like “he” or “she,” you add -s to the verb, such as “he takes” or “she takes.”
Definition of Simple Present Tense
The simple present tense in a sentence talks about things that regularly happen or exist right now. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it’s the tense for events, actions, or conditions that happen all the time or exist currently. It uses the base form or the ‘s’ form of a verb, like ‘I play tennis twice a week’ or ‘She works in a bank.
How to Use Simple Present Tense?
To use the simple present tense correctly, it’s important to follow some rules. This helps the verb match the subject in the sentence.
For most subjects, the verb stays in its basic form. But when the subject is a third-person pronoun (like ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘it’), the verb needs to be changed to show it’s talking about more than one person or thing.
To talk about things I do often, things that are always true, or feelings and wants:
I smoke (something I do a lot); I live in New York (always true); New York is a big city (always true).
To tell someone what to do:
Walk straight for two blocks, then turn right.
To talk about plans that are set, happening now, or will happen soon:
Your appointment is at 2:00.
Structure of the Simple Present Tense
Understanding the simple present tense involves looking at how it works in positive sentences, negative sentences, questions, and negative questions. By checking out the structure chart for the simple present tense, you’ll get a clearer picture of how it operates, making it easier to grasp.
Structure of Simple Present Tense
|Subject + Verb in the base form/third person plural form
|Subject + Do not/Don’t/Does not/Doesn’t + Verb in the base form/third person plural form
|Do/Does + Subject + Verb
|Don’t/Doesn’t + Subject + Verb
|Example: You look beautiful.
She looks beautiful.
|Example: You do not look beautiful.
She does not look beautiful.
|Example: Do you look beautiful?
Does she look beautiful?
|Example: Don’t you look beautiful?
Doesn’t she look beautiful?
Rules When Using the Simple Present Tense
To correctly use the simple present tense, there are some important rules to remember. If the verb doesn’t match the subject in a sentence, the meaning might get confusing.
Mostly, the verb stays in its base form when using the simple present tense. However, if you’re talking about someone or something in third person (like ‘he,’ ‘she,’ or ‘it’), the verb needs to be adjusted to show that.
What Do You Use the Simple Present Tense For?
- Used for sharing commonly known truths and scientific facts.
- Used to talk about things we do regularly, like daily routines or repeated actions.
- Used to show events that don’t change.
- Used to offer guidance or instructions.
- Used to discuss plans that are already set.
- Used when talking about things that will happen in the future.
How to make the simple present negative
To turn a simple present verb into a negative, you can use do or does with not, followed by the root form of the verb. You can also use don’t or doesn’t instead of do not or does not.
Karan does not want to share the pie.
She doesn’t think there is enough to go around.
Her friends do not agree.
I don’t want classes anyway.
Simple Present Tense FAQs
What is a simple present tense example?
A simple present tense example talks about things happening now or regularly, like She walks to school.
Which sentences are simple present tense?
Sentences like He plays the guitar or They eat dinner early are in simple present tense, describing regular actions.
What is the simple present tense 'to be'?
In simple present tense, 'to be' changes based on the subject: I am, You are, He/She/It is, We are, They are.
Which sentence is present simple?
Tom reads books every day is an example of a sentence in the present simple tense.
What is the simple present tense form?
The simple present tense uses the base form of the verb (without 'to'), like She writes, They dance, or I study.