Present Simple

Form

 

Subject + Verb + Object

 

The present simple verb structure in English is the infinitive with exception of the third person singular, which is commonly the Infinitive + S.

Function

 

We use the Present Simple to:

 

He always plays football on Saturdays

We go to the cinema every Wednesday

 

 

 

  • talk about facts/permanent situations/truths

 

They live in England

It rains a lot in Scotland

I am a teacher

 

 

  • talk about/give opinions

 

I like pizza

We think that is a good idea

Do you like football?

We DO NOT use the Present Simple to talk about the PRESENT

To talk about the PRESENT we use the Present Continuous

 

I cannot answer the phone, I am cooking dinner

NOT: I cook dinner

 

NOTE: The facts/permanent situations we talk about using the present simple are true in the present but we are not referring to the present, we are talking about the truth.

Exceptions

In general verbs in the present simple are almost universally regular.  There are four verbs that are irregular in the present simple.


These four verbs are fundamental to everyday language use. Only to be is irregular to any standard. The other three verbs simply have an adaptation of the third person S structure.


Please note that to be, to do and to have are auxiliary verbs while to go is a normal verb so in the negative form requires the use of the auxiliary verb

Spelling notes

As already stated, most verbs do not change from the infinitive except adding an S for the third person singular. This has the following minor exceptions for spelling:

Related Topics


Present Simple further functions here              

Instructions & Directions/Stories & Commentaries/Performative utternaces/Newspaper Headlines


Present Simple to talk about the future here

A timetable/A schedule/A known fact/An arrangement


Present Continuous form and function here   

What is happening now 


Present Continuous further functions here     

Temporary states/Repeated actions/Change/Criticism of consistent behaviour


Present Simple or Present Continuous here

Permananent or Temporary states/Stative or Dynamic verbs


Adverbs of frequency 


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