An excellent webpage on verbal tenses of the English language

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


An awesome website where students will find out lots of examples, clear explanations and uses on English grammar


Present simple tense

Basic form

Subject + Verb (present form)


Quick examples

John lives in New York.

We play football every day.

You are really kind.

The meeting starts at 3 PM.

The Present Simple is the most basic tense in the English language. It is an interesting tense because it can be used to express the future. Generally, though, we use it to describe the present activities or to talk about routines or habits.


1.Facts, generalizations and universal truths

2.Habits and routines

The Present Simple is often used with the frequency adverbs:

always / frequently/often / usually / seldom/rarely / nowadays / never / every week/year / sometimes/occasionally / from time to time / every now and then

A few examples how to use them in sentences:

I always go to church on Sundays  / I never eat anything after 10 PM.

3.Permanent situations

4.Events that are certain to happen

My grandmother turns 100 this July

Winter starts on December 21

5.Arrangements that we can’t change (e.g. timetables, official meetings)

6.State verbs (e.g. be, have, suppose, know)

I like swimming

We know this man

7.Narrations, instructions or commentaries



Apart from the above uses, this tense is also used in:

8.Zero Conditional (“If it doesn’t rains, I go play football.”)

9.First Conditional (“We won’t get our pocket money, if we don’t pass this exam.”)

10.In sentences after when, before, till, after, as soon as (“Before you leave, please take the keys.”)



Forming a sentence in the Present Simple is easy. To form a declarative sentence, all you need is the subject of the sentence (e.g. I, you, he, a dog) and the verb (e.g. be, talk, swim). Questions and negative sentences are only a little more difficult, because they require an auxiliary verb.

Declarative Sentences 

Subject                                            +Verb (present form)

e.g. he, she, a dog, etc.               e.g. go, make, have, etc.

A dog is an animal / I learn English twice a week / The course starts in April


Questions require the auxiliary verb “to do” or, in the third person singular, “does”

Do or Does    +Subject                             +Verb (present form)

e.g. he, she, a dog, etc.   e.g. go, make, have, etc.

Person A: Does she like going to the mountains?

Person B: Yes, she does.

Person A: Does John have a dog?

Person B: No, he doesn’t.

When asking a question, the verb does not conjugate:

Does she have a dog?

Does she has a dog?* [WRONG]

For the verb “to be”, we do not use an auxiliary:

Is he tall?

Does he be tall?* [WRONG]

Is he a lawyer? / Does Mike go swimming every Sunday? / Does she live in London?

Negative Sentences

Subject                                +Don’t or Doesn’t              +Verb (present form)

e.g. he, she, a dog, etc.                                                  e.g. go, make, have, etc.


Contracted forms in the negative

do + not = don’t

does + not = doesn’t

They don’t live in New York anymore / I don’t like Winter / He doesn’t go to the cinema at all / Spring doesn’t start in December  



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