Simple Present Tense

Simple present tense is also called present simple. Simple present is the most basic and common tense in English. It is also an interesting tense since it can express both the present and the future.

The Pattern

Positive
1. Subject+Verb1———-> for first singular/plural and second singular/plural pronoun (I,we,you,they)
2. Subject+Verb1(s/es) —–> for third singular pronoun (he, she, it)

-s or -es?


For third singular person, we need to put s/es after the verb. For most verbs, just add s. However, for some verbs, which end in -s (pass, kiss), sh (wish, wash), ch (watch, catch, teach), z (waltz) and x (mix, fix) you need to add –es so that the verbs become passes, kisses, wishes, washes, watches, catches, teaches, waltzes, mixes and fixes. Meanwhile for verbs end in -y, you must pay attention to the letter before -y. If the letter before -y is a consonant, such as study, fly….you need to change -y into -i then add –es; the verbs then become studies and flies. But if the letter before –y is a vowel like in play, you only need to put s then it becomes plays.

Negative

Subject+do/does+not+Verb1

Interrogative

Do/Does+Subject+Verb1?

The Functions

The simple present is used to express:

1. both habits and or routines (habitual actions)
Examples:

I write an article every day.
She does not play piano very often.
Do you wake up early every morning?

2. facts and universal truths
Examples:

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. (fact)
Iron sinks in water. (universal truth)
A cat doesn’t fly.(universal truth)
Does water freeze at 0 degree celcius? (universal truth)
The sun always shines in the desert. (universal truth)

3. permanent situations, the situations in life that last a relatively long time
Examples:

  • I live in Bandar Lampung, the capital of Lampung province, Indonesia.
  • I teach English at this school.

4. events that are certain to happen
Example:

  • In England, summer starts on the 21st of June and ends on the 23rd of September.

5. timetable/schedule, official meeting
Examples:

  • The plane takes off at 7 a.m.
  • The meeting starts at 8 p.m.
  • The concert begins at 7.30 p.m.

6. verbs that describe state, possession, sense, emotion and mental activity such as: be, have, suppose, know, doubt, like, dislike, understand,suspect, hate, loathe, own, belong, need, want, seem, mean, believe, forget, remember, prefer, love, see
Examples:

  • We know him well.
  • He doesn’t understand me.
  • What does it mean?

7. actions taking place one after another
Examples:

  • We have breakfast then go.
  • The little girl runs then hugs her mom.

8. first conditional
Examples:

  • We will not pass the test if we don’t study hard.
  • If you watch the program, you will be smart.
  • My father will retire when he reaches age 65.

9. the clauses after when, before, till, after, as soon as (Time Clause)
Example:

  • Before you do your job, please pray.

Time Signals

The time signals used in simple present tense are always, every …, never, normally, often, seldom, sometimes and usually.

Simple Present with be

• Use the present form of be (am, is, are) to make simple present sentences.
• Use am with the personal pronoun I
• Use is with the personal pronouns he, she or it (or with the singular form of nouns)
• Use are with the personal pronouns we, you or they (or with the plural form of nouns)

The patterns

Positive——————->>Subject+be(am,is,are)+Complement
Negative——————->>Subject+be(am,is,are)+not+Complement
Interrogative ————>>Be(am,is,are)+Subject+Complement?
Examples:
• I am happy with you.
• He is not a hard worker.
• Is she a cheerful girl?
• It is a big house.
• We are diligent students.

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