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Present Simple

When do we use the Present Simple?

The Present Simple is one of the most frequently used tenses in English. 

1. repeated actions ( always, every week, never, often, sometimes)

My brother often plays football after school.

I always watch the news on television.

We usually visit my grandmother at the weekend.

2. things in general

Water freezes at 0°Celcius.

My parents live in London.

3. fixed arrangements, scheduled events (e.g. timetables)

The train to Glasgow leaves at 10:00 everyday.

The school term is from September 4th to December 19th.

4. sequence of actions in the present (first – then, after that)

First he gets the ball,then runs down the field, next looks up, shoots and scores. Goal!

After a busy day I have a hot bath, then I eat and after that I go to bed.

5. instructions

Watch carefully.

Sit down!

6. with stative verbs – which are not normally used in the Present Continuous (These verbs express states, possessions, feelings etc.) 

I know him.

He likes reading.

This fish smells bad.

You will find a full list of these verbs here

7. Signal words

  • always
  • every day/week/year
  • never
  • often
  • sometimes
  • usually

8. Form

infinitive (3rd person singular he, she, it: infinitive + -s)

9. Examples

9.1. Affirmative sentences in the Present Simple

Long forms Contracted forms
I work in a shop. not possible
You work in a shop.
He works in a shop.

9.2. Negative sentences in the Present Simple

You must not negate a full verb in English. Always use the auxiliary do for negations and the infinitive of the verb.

Long forms Contracted forms
I do not work in a shop. I don’t work in a shop.
You do not work in a shop. You don’t work in a shop.
He does not work in a shop. He doesn’t work in a shop.

9.3. Questions in the Present Simple

You need the auxiliary do/does and the infinitive of the verb.

Long forms Contracted forms
Do I work in a shop? not possible
Do you work in a shop?
Does he work in a shop?