Present Simple

Present Simple Affirmative

The English present simple is formed by using the base verb for I, you, we, and they. For he, she, and it we add an "s."

The base form of the verb is the infinitive without "to." So for the verb "to walk," the base verb will be "walk." We use "walk" for I, you, we, and they. For he, she, and it, we use "walks."

 

  • If a verb ends in -ch, -o, -x, -s, or -sh, we add "-es" to  the verb for he, she, and it. For example, with the verb "to wash," the base form of the verb is "wash." For he, she, and it, we add -es and get "washes."
  • The verb "to be" is very important, and it is irregular in the present simple tense. For this verb, we say "I am," "you/we/they are" and "he/she/it is."
  • In spoken English, we almost always use a shortened form, or contraction, when we use "to be." The contractions of "to be" in the present simple are I'm, you're, we're, they're, he's, she's, and it's.

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Present Simple Negative

  • The verb "to be" has different rules in the negative, as well. To make "to be" negative, we add "not" after the verb.
    • I am not.
    • You/We/They are not.
    • He/She/It is not.
  • There are two ways to form contractions with "to be" in the present simple negative: combine the subject and the verb:
    • I'm not.
    • You're/We're/They're not.
    • He's/She's/It's not.
    • Or combine the verb and not (This is NOT possible with "I."):
    • You/We/They aren't.
    • He/She/It isn't.
  • For every other verb, we use either "do" or "does" and "not" together with the base form of the verb to make the negative present simple.
    • I/You/We/They do not
    • He/She/It does not

Present Simple Questions

  • To form yes/no questions with "to be" in the present simple, we move the verb to the beginning of the sentence:
    • I am --> Am I
    • You are ---> Are you
    • She is --> Is she
  • To form yes/no questions with all other verbs, we use "do" or "does" at the beginning of the sentence:
    • Do they work?
    • Does he play soccer?
  • To form wh-questions in the present simple, we put the question word at the beginning of the sentence. The rules for yes/no questions then follow.
    • Where are we?
    • How do you do this?

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The present simple is the beginning of English grammar study. This powerful tense allows you to do many important things in English including introduce yourself, talk about your family, your profession, your daily routine, and your likes and dislikes. Not only that, but you can also ask someone about their family, profession, daily routine, and likes and dislikes.

 

Read on for some tips on how to form sentences and questions in the English present simple tense. Or