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:

  • talk about habitual activities, often with adverbs of frequency

 

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

 

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

Further functions of the Present Simple here

Difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous here

Stative and Dynamic verbs here

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