Thursday, 1 December 2011

Simple Present tense

Simple present, third person singular
  1. he, she, it: in the third person singular the verb always ends in -s:
    he wants, she needs, he gives, she thinks.
  2. Negative and question forms use DOES (=the third person of the auxiliary'DO') the infinitive of the verb.
    He wantsDoes he want? He does not want.
  3. Verbs ending in -y : the third person changes the -y to -ies:
    fly  flies, cry  cries
    : if there is a vowel before the -y:
    play  plays, pray  prays
  4. Add -es to verbs ending in:-ss, -x, -sh, -ch:
    he passes, she catches, he fixes, it pushes
See also Verbs -'Regular verbs in the simple present', and 'Be, do & have'


1. Third person singular with s or -es
a. He goes to school every morning.
b. She understands English.
c. It mixes the sand and the water.
d. He tries very hard.
e. She enjoys playing the piano.
2. Simple present, form
Example: to think, present simple
I thinkDo I think ?I do not think.
You thinkDo you think?You don't think.
he, she, itthinksDoes he, she, it think?He, she, it doesn't think.
we thinkDo we think?We don't think.
you thinkDo you think?You don't think.
The simple present is used:
  1. to express habits, general truths, repeated actions or unchanging situations, emotions and wishes:
    I smoke (habit); I work in London (unchanging situation); London is a large city (general truth)
  2. to give instructions or directions:
    You walk for two hundred metres, then you turn left.
  3. to express fixed arrangements, present or future:
    Your exam starts at 09.00
  4. to express future time, after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until:
    He'll give it to you when you come next Saturday.
BE CAREFUL! The simple present is not used to express actions happening nowSee Present Continuous.
  1. For habitsHe drinks tea at breakfast.
    She only eats fish.
    They watch television regularly.
  2. For repeated actions or eventsWe catch the bus every morning.
    It rains every afternoon in the hot season.
    They drive to Monaco every summer.
  3. For general truths
    Water freezes at zero degrees.
    The Earth revolves around the Sun.
    Her mother is Peruvian.
  4. For instructions or directionsOpen the packet and pour the contents into hot water.
    You take the No.6 bus to Watney and then the No.10 to Bedford.
  5. For fixed arrangementsHis mother arrives tomorrow.
    Our holiday starts on the 26th March
  6. With future constructionsShe'll see you before she leaves.
    We'll give it to her when she arrives.

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