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Simple Present


Simple Present

Simple Present


We form the present tense using the base form of the infinitive. Run, come, buy, learn.

In general, we add 'S' in the third person.

Simple Present

The spelling of the verb in the third person differs depending on the ending of that verb:

1. For verbs that end in -O, -CH, -SH, -SS, -X, or -Z we add -ES in the third person.

  • go – goes
  • catch – catches
  • wash – washes
  • kiss – kisses
  • fix – fixes
  • buzz – buzzes
2. For verbs that end in a consonant + Y, we remove the Y and add -IES. 

  • marry – marries
  • study – studies
  • carry – carries
  • worry – worries
NOTE: For verbs that end in a vowel + Y, we just add -S.
  • play – plays
  • enjoy – enjoys


The simple present tense is used to describe an action that is regular, true or normal.

We use the present tense:

1. For repeated or regular actions in the present time period.
  • I take the train to work every day.
  • The train to London leaves every hour.
  • Prince sleeps eight hours every night during the week.
2. For facts.
  • The President of The USA lives in The White House.
  • A Cat has four legs.
  • We come from Germany.
3. For habits.
  • I get up early every day.
  • Sunny brushes his teeth twice a day.
  • They travel to Bochum every weekend.
4. For things that are always / generally true.
  • It rains a lot in winter.
  • The Queen of England lives in Buckingham Palace.
  • They speak Spanish at work.

Negative Sentences in the Simple Present Tense

To make a negative sentence in English we normally use Don't or Doesn't with all verbs EXCEPT To Be and Modal verbs (can, might, should, etc.).

  • You speak French.
  • You don't speak French.
You will see that we add don't between the subject and the verb. We use Don't when the subject is I, you, we, or they.

  • He speaks German.
  • He doesn't speak German.
When the subject is he, she, or it, we add doesn't between the subject and the verb to make a negative sentence. Notice that the letter S at the end of the verb in the affirmative sentence (because it is in the third person) disappears in the negative sentence. We will see the reason why below.

Negative Contractions

Doesn't = Does not
Isn't = Is not
Aren't = Are not
I don't like meat = I do not like meat.
  • You don't speak Arabic.
  • John doesn't speak Italian.
  • We don't have time for a rest.
  • It doesn't move.

Questions in the Simple Present Tense

1. With be, put am/ are/ is first
  • Are you Swedish?
2. With all other verbs, use do/does
  • Does it cost a lot?
3. With question words (who, what, where, how, etc.), add do/does to the question word
  • Where does he work? How do they get to work?
4. If the question word is the subject, do not use do/does.
  • Who works for a multinational?
5. Indirect questions can start with expressions such as,
Can I ask...?, Do you know...?, Could you tell me...?
  • Do you know where the report is?
Examples of Questions with Do and Does:

  • Do you need a dictionary?
  • Does Mary need a dictionary?
  • Do we have a meeting now?
  • Does it rain a lot in winter?
  • Do they want to go to the party?
  • Does he like pizza?

Simple Present Quiz

Simple Present Quizizz Quiz


Q: What is the simple present tense?
A: The simple present tense expresses actions happening now, habitual actions, universal truths, or scheduled future events. It uses base form verbs and adds an "s" for third-person singular subjects.

Q: How do you form the simple present?
A: Form the simple present for singular subjects by using the base form of the verb plus an "-s" for third person. For plural subjects or "you," just use the base form of the verb without the "-s."

Q: When do you use the simple present?
A: Use the simple present for actions happening right now, repeated actions or habits, timeless statements, and scheduled events in the future. It can also indicate historical present in stories.

Q: What are the rules for subject-verb agreement?
A: With singular subjects, verbs must match by adding an "-s." With plural subjects or "you," use the base form of the verb. For example, He walks daily. They walk daily. You walk daily.

Q: How is the simple present different from the present progressive?
A: The present progressive uses a form of "to be" plus the "-ing" verb to describe actions happening right now. The simple present can express habitual actions.


  1. Practical English Usage, 4th Edition by Michael Swan, Oxford University Press, 2016.
  2. English Grammar Demystified, 2nd Edition by Jim Peterson, McGraw-Hill Education, 2012.
  3. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, 11th Edition by Jane Straus, Jossey-Bass, 2014.
  4. Garner's Modern English Usage, 4th Edition by Bryan A. Garner, Oxford University Press, 2016.
  5. The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition, University of Chicago Press, 2017.
Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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