1. The present simple
2. Structure of present simple
- Affirmative form
In affirmative sentences the verb has the same form with all the pronouns, except he, she and it.
Subject Verb Examples I work I work in a factory. You You work in a factory. He works He works in a factory. She She works in a factory. It It works. We work We work in a factory. You You work in a factory. They They work in a factory.
As we can see, an -s or -es is added to the third person singular verb (he/she/it) depending on its ending.
Ending Examples If the verb used ends in -SS, -SH, -CH, -O, or -X, the ending of the third person is -ESTo kissHe kissesTo fishHe fishesTo watchShe watchesTo goShe goesTo fixHe fixes If the verb used ends in a consonant plus -Y, the ending of the third person is formed replacing the -Y with -IESTo studyHe studiesTo flyShe flies If the verb used ends in a vowel plus - Y, we just add an -S at the end.To playHe playsTo stayHe stays
- Negative form
In negative sentences we add the auxiliary verb do followed by the particle not between the subject and the main verb, although with he, she and it we'll use the form does followed by the particle not.
Subject AuxiliarY Verb Examples I do not
work I don't work in a factory. You You don't work in a factory. He does not
He doesn't work in a factory. She She doesn't work in a factory. It It doesn't work. We do not
We don't work in a factory. You You don't work in a factory. They They don't work in a factory.Notice that in the 3rd person singular there is no -s added to the end of the verb in the negative form, as the auxiliary takes the -s (doesn't). The same happens in the case of questions, as follows.It's more usual to use the contracted form don't and doesn't rather than do not or does not.
- Interrogative form
In questions the auxiliary verb do or does is placed at the beginning of the sentence followed by the subject, then the main verb and after that, the rest of the sentence.
AuxiliarY Subject Verb Examples Do I work? Do I work in a factory? you Do you work in a factory? Does he work? Does he work in a factory? she Does she work in a factory? it Does it work? Do we work? Do we work in a factory? you Do you work in a factory? they Do they work in a factory?
As it happens with the verbs to be and have got, the questions in present simple also have short answers.
Adverb Subject AuxiliarY Yes, I do you he does she it we do you theyDo you work in a factory? Yes, I do. Adverb Subject AuxiliarY No, I don't you he doesn't she it we don't you theyDoes he fly in a plane? No, he doesn't.
3. How is the present simple used?
The present simple is mainly used to express:
- Habits or repeated actions, that is, actions that happen regularly. In this case, it's quite common the use of frequency adverbs such as: always, usually, sometimes, never...
I have breakfast every day.She plays tennis on Saturdays.
- Affirmations or things that are always true.
The sun rises every day.Lions live in Africa.
- Situations that last over a period of time and continue up until the present and also into the future.
I live in Venice.They love opera.
- Actions that happen in the future at a regular pre-stablished time. So, a time expression will be needed.
Our AVE leaves at 10 o'clock.The piano lessons start on Monday.
- Instructions on how to use or do something.
First you fold the paper in half.You take your cash and then the credit card.
- With actions that are currently taking place, we use the present continuous. However, if the verb is a stative verb, the -ing form is not possible and for this reason we use the present simple.
I don't understand what you are saying.She has a new motorbike.Stative verbs are verbs that don't describe dynamic actions. To follow, we'll show you a list of the main stative verbs:
Use Stative verb Examples Likes, preferences and emotions Like, dislike, prefer, love, hate, etc. They like going on holiday at Christmas. Possessions Have, include, involve, etc. She doesn't have a new car. Weight, measure... Weigh, measure, contain, etc. I weigh 1 kilo less than last week. Wish or necessity Want, wish, need, etc. My brother wants to go home because he is tired. Senses or perception Sound, hear, taste, see, imagine, smell, remember, etc. I don't remember where I put my keys. Opinion, doubt, agreement or disagreement Understand, think, look, etc. I don't understand what you are saying.
The present simple (I sing) has the following structure:
|AFFIRMATIVE||Subject + verb + (complements)||I live in Barcelona.|
|NEGATIVE||Subject + don't/doesn't + verb + (complements)||I don't like pizza.|
|INTERROGATIVE||Do/does + subject + verb + (complements)?||Do you love books? Yes, we do.|
The main uses of the present simple are:
|Habits or actions that happen regularly||I go to the gym three times a week.|
|Affirmations or things that are always true||The sun rises in the east.|
|Situations that last over a period of time||I don't live in a big town.|
|Actions that take place at a pre-stablished time in the future.||The meeting starts at 9.30 a.m.|
|Instructions||First, you put the batteries in.|
|With stative verbs||Do you like cheese?|