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.
- 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.
- 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