The present simple or simple present tense, as luck would have it, is pretty easy to understand. It’s one of 12 tenses in English designed to express how an action or state of being relates to time.
In this article, we will look at the rules of using the simple present tense, and as always, we will give you tons of examples along the way.
The simple present tense is one of the first things you learn when studying tenses in English, and it has quite a few uses.
1. When talking about a daily activity or repeated situation. (habitual) We often add adverbs of frequency to give more context, such as ‘every day.’
2. When talking about something factual or considered a general truth.
3. When talking about facts that are true for now.
4. When giving or receiving instructions, instead of using the imperative.
5. When telling stories or as a running commentary- common in informal spoken English.
6. In marketing and advertising, when trying to put the consumer or reader into a specific situation or to make them feel a certain way.
7. When talking about feelings, thoughts, etc., in a present situation. In this case, we can use stative verbs.
8. When discussing fixed arrangements or plans that are unlikely to change.
There are three basic structures when forming the simple present tense.
The positive present simple tense is used for typical sentences. It’s also referred to as ‘affirmative.’
For positive present simple sentences, we choose a subject.
Then use the main verb and conjugate it by adding a -s suffix at the end, except for some subjects.
For example, let’s take a look at the simple regular verb ‘to travel.’
In some cases, verbs change in the present simple.
For example, now let’s look at the verb ‘worry.’
With the third-person singular, you will notice that we conjugate the verb by omitting the -y and adding -ies as the suffix. However, for verbs that contain an ‘ay,’ ‘ey,’ ‘oy,’ and ‘uy’ at the end, we add an -s in the third-person singular, like in the case of buys.
We usually add an- es for verbs ending in -ss, -x, -ch, -sh, and -o.
Some verbs also become irregular when used in the present simple. Such as,
Example sentences in the affirmative simple present form:
In the simple present, when forming a negative sentence, we add the auxiliary verb ‘do.’
We then follow the same steps when forming a positive sentence by adding a subject followed by the conjugated ‘do.’
Example sentences in the negative simple present form:
We can also form questions in the present simple using the auxiliary verb ‘do.’ In this case, the auxiliary verb is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
Example sentences in the interrogative present simple form using ‘do.’
To form ‘wh’ questions in the present simple such as, ‘what, what, and why.’ you also use the auxiliary verb ‘do;’ however, the ‘wh’ begins the sentence.
Do you want to learn more? Why not check out our other grammar-related material?