Simple Present Tense: Uses & Examples

The simple present tense is used in several situations:

  • To express habits, general truths, repeated actions, or unchanging situations, emotions, and wishes.
  • To give instructions or directions.
  • To express fixed arrangements, present or future.
  • To express future time after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until.

Be careful! The simple present is not used to express actions happening now.



  • He goes to school every morning.
  • She understands English.
  • It mixes the sand and the water.
  • He tries very hard.
  • She enjoys playing the piano.
  • They eat dinner at 6 PM.
  • He takes a walk in the park every evening.
  • She brushes her teeth twice a day.
  • They always arrive late for meetings.
  • He often forgets his keys.

General truths:

  • Water freezes at zero degrees.
  • The Earth revolves around the Sun.
  • Her mother is Peruvian.
  • Dogs bark.
  • The sun rises in the east.
  • Plants need sunlight to grow.
  • The Earth is round.
  • Humans need oxygen to survive.
  • The moon reflects the light of the sun.
  • The stars twinkle at night.

Instructions or directions:

  • Open the packet and pour the contents into hot water.
  • You take the No.6 bus to Watney and then the No.10 to Bedford.
  • Insert the key into the ignition and turn it clockwise.
  • Mix the ingredients and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  • Fill out the form with your personal information.
  • Put the book back on the shelf after reading.
  • Press the green button to start the machine.
  • Follow the signs to the nearest exit.
  • Take a left turn at the traffic light.
  • Keep the door closed at all times.

Fixed arrangements:

  • His mother arrives tomorrow.
  • Our holiday starts on the 26th March.
  • The meeting is scheduled for next Monday.
  • The train departs at 8:00 AM.
  • We leave for vacation next week.
  • The concert begins at 7:30 PM.
  • The store opens at 9:00 AM.
  • They celebrate Christmas on December 25th.
  • The flight to Paris is on Friday.
  • We have a doctor's appointment next month.

With future constructions:

  • She'll see you before she leaves.
  • We'll give it to her when she arrives.
  • I'll call you as soon as I get home.
  • He'll help you when he finishes his work.
  • They'll be here until the party ends.
  • She's going to travel to Europe next summer.
  • We are planning a picnic for next weekend.
  • He intends to buy a new car next year.
  • They're leaving for vacation in two weeks.
  • I'm meeting my friend for lunch later.

Notes on the simple present, third person singular:

In the third person singular, the verb always ends in -s:

  • he wants
  • she needs
  • he gives
  • she thinks

Negative and question forms use DOES (= the third person of the auxiliary 'DO') + the infinitive of the verb:

  • He wants ice cream. Does he want strawberry? He does not want vanilla.

Verbs ending in -y: the third person changes the -y to -ies:

  • fly --> flies
  • cry --> cries
  • study --> studies
  • carry --> carries
  • try --> tries

Exception: if there is a vowel before the -y:

  • play --> plays
  • pray --> prays
  • stay --> stays
  • enjoy --> enjoys
  • say --> says

Add -es to verbs ending in: -ss, -x, -sh, -ch:

  • he passes
  • she catches
  • he fixes
  • it pushes
  • he watches
  • she washes
  • it teaches
  • he reaches
Grammar Lab
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