Simple Present Tense


I sing

How do we make the Simple Present Tense?

subject+auxiliary verb+main verb
  do base

There are three important exceptions:

  1. For positive sentences, we do not normally use the auxiliary.
  2. For the 3rd person singular (he, she, it), we add s to the main verb or es to the auxiliary.
  3. For the verb to be, we do not use an auxiliary, even for questions and negatives.

Look at these examples with the main verb like:

 subjectauxiliary verb main verb 
+I, you, we, they  likecoffee.
He, she, it  likescoffee.
-I, you, we, theydonotlikecoffee.
He, she, itdoesnotlikecoffee.
?DoI, you, we, they likecoffee?
Doeshe, she, it likecoffee?

Look at these examples with the main verb be. Notice that there is no auxiliary:

 subjectmain verb  
+Iam French.
You, we, theyare French.
He, she, itis French.
You, we, theyarenotold.
He, she, itisnotold.
?AmI late?
Areyou, we, they late?
Ishe, she, it late?

How do we use the Simple Present Tense?

We use the simple present tense when:

  • the action is general
  • the action happens all the time, or habitually, in the past, present and future
  • the action is not only happening now
  • the statement is always true
John drives a taxi.

It is John's job to drive a taxi. He does it every day. Past, present and future.

Look at these examples:

  • I live in New York.
  • The Moon goes round the Earth.
  • John drives a taxi.
  • He does not drive a bus.
  • We meet every Thursday.
  • We do not work at night.
  • Do you play football?

Note that with the verb to be, we can also use the simple present tense for situations that are not general. We can use the simple present tense to talk about now. Look at these examples of the verb "to be" in the simple present tense - some of them are general, some of them are now:


Am I right?
Tara is not at home.
You are happy.

The situation is now.


I am not fat.
Why are you so beautiful?
Ram is tall.

The situation is general. Past, present and future.