Simple Present Tense For ELA

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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 that tells us how an action or state of being relates to time. The present simple is about things that are happening now!

In this article, we will look at the rules of using the simple present tense with tons of simple present examples along the way.

When Can I Use The Simple Present?

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."

  • She drinks coffee every morning.
  • They run every day.
  • She cleans the floor.
  • He goes to school.
  • I work very hard.

2. When talking about something factual or considered a general truth.

  • A magnet attracts iron.
  • Trees help us to breathe.
  • The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening.
  • 100 x 100 = 200 or one hundred times one hundred equals two hundred.
  • The earth is not a perfect circle.

3. When talking about facts that are true for right now.

  • She works in finance.
  • He studies Literature.
  • They like cooking.
  • Where do you live?
  • I don't like pineapple.

4. When giving or receiving instructions, instead of using the imperative.

  • Go left past the mall and then turn right.
  • Where is the nearest subway?
  • Stir the pot, then add salt.
  • Go and put on your shoes.
  • Put your name at the top of the page.

5. When telling stories or as a running commentary- common in informal spoken English.

  • I go to pay for my lunch, and the guy asks me to pay, but I don't have my card on me!
  • Messi goes for the ball, oh, and he misses!
  • He takes the racket and walks onto the tennis court.

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.

  • The summer breeze hits you.
  • We need you!
  • She sips the cool soda.

7. When talking about feelings, thoughts, etc., in a present situation. In this case, we can use stative verbs.

  • I don't like spicy food!
  • I think she's beautiful!
  • I don't like the summer heat; it's too humid!

8. When discussing fixed arrangements or plans that are unlikely to change.

  • My brother arrives tomorrow.
  • The train arrives at midnight.
  • Let's meet in the afternoon.
  • I go to school on Mondays.

How do I Make The Present Simple Tense?

There are three basic structures when forming the simple present tense.

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
Subject + verb + object Subject + don't / doesn't + verb + object Does / Do + subject + verb + object + ?

Third-person Singular Rules for Verbs

Struggling with conjugating verbs in the third person? Check out the following rules for verbs. Scroll down for the verb to be.

General Rules For Most Verbs +s Verbs Ending in Consonant y- ies Verbs Ending in -ay -ey -oy -uy +s Verbs -ss -x -ch -sh -o + es
work - works worry - worries buy - buys fix - fixes
eat - eats study - studies prey - preys approach - approaches
sleep-sleeps try - tries annoy - annoys discuss - discusses
run - runs fly - flies spray - sprays echo - echoes


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. (Who you're talking about) Then use the main verb and an object.

  • Subject + verb + object = She plays piano.

For example, let's take a look at the simple regular verb "to travel."

Example sentences in the affirmative simple present form

  • I worry about you.
  • They sleep on the couch.
  • She plays tennis at the weekend.
  • I wake up early on Tuesdays.
  • Hamsters like to play. (They)


In the simple present, when forming a negative sentence, we add the auxiliary verb "do and not = don't."

We then follow the same steps when forming a positive sentence by adding a subject followed by the conjugated "do."

Subject + don't / doesn't + verb + object

Example sentences in the negative simple present form

  • I don't know.
  • We don't own a car.
  • It doesn't look like the picture.
  • We don't want to play.
  • She doesn't study.
  • He doesn't like pineapple.


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.

Do/doesn't + subject + verb + object + ?

  • Do I like her?
  • Do you like soccer?
  • Do we like living here?
  • Does he like school?
  • Does she have red hair?
  • Does it help you?
  • Do they live next door?

 Example sentences in the interrogative present simple form using "do."

  • Does she like traveling?
  • Does it look okay?
  • Do they want to come over for dinner?
  • Does he want dinner?
  • Does it work?

Present Simple With The Verb "To Be"

The verb "to be" can be tricky to understand; "to be" simply describes the condition of people, things, places, or ideas. They might tell us more about how old someone is, where they're from, their job, or their character traits.


In the positive, simple present tense, the verb "to be" is conjugated like this.

Subject + am / is / are + predicate

  • Sally is nine years old.
  • Fred and Danny are outside.
  • It is broken.


In the negative simple present tense, the verb "to be" is conjugated like this.

Subject + am / is / are + not + predicate

  • Danny isn't at school.
  • Louise and Quinn are not here.
  • I'm not happy with the results.


To ask questions using the simple present tense, use this structure.

Am / Are / Is + subject + predicate

  • Are you there?
  • Is she sick?
  • Are you a student?

"To Be" Flashcard Examples in The Simple Present Tense

Flip the flashcards for more simple present example sentences using the verb "to be."

WH Questions in Present Simple

To form "wh" questions in the present simple tense, such as "what, what, and why." You also use the auxiliary verb "do;" however, the "wh" begins the sentence.

  • Where do you live?
  • What is your name?
  • When does he arrive?
  • Why do you like…?

Do you want to learn more? Why not check out our other grammar-related material?