Last updated on July 8th, 2021 at 07:56 am
The simple present tense is one of several forms of present tense in English. It is used to describe habits, unchanging situations, general truth, and fixed arrangements.
Forming the present simple tense.
Apart from the verb “to be” which has its unique form, other verbs are conjugated in simple present tense by taking their infinitive without “to” preceded by a subject. The third person of singular takes an s, es or ies.
Ex: To write.
Notes on the third person singular.
In the third person singular the verb always ends in -s:
Ex: He want-s, she need-s, he give-s, she think-s, it jump-s
Verbs ending in -y: the third person changes the -y to -ies:
Ex: fly –> flies, cry –> cries
Other verbs include: carry, dry, fry, fly, reply, study, try, worry, …
Exception: if there is a vowel before the – y:
play –> play-s, pray –> pray-s
Other verbs include: buy, employ, enjoy, play, pray, stay, ….
Add -es to verbs ending in: -ss, -x, -sh, -ch:
Ex: he pass-es, she catch-es, he fix-es, it push-es
Other verbs include: kiss, miss, dismiss, mix, punish, etc
The simple present tense is used:
a. To express habits.
Ex: He smokes tobacco.
She drinks tea at breakfast.
She only eats fish.
They watch television regularly.
b. To express general truth.
Ex: London is a large city.
Water freezes at zero degrees.
The Earth turns around the Sun.
c. To express repeated actions or unchanging situations, emotions and wishes
Ex: We catch the bus every morning.
It rains every afternoon in hot season.
We always have lunch at noon.
d. To give instructions or directions
Ex: You walk for two hundred meters, then you turn left.
You take the KBS bus to Kabuga.
d. To express fixed arrangements in present or future:
Ex: Your exam starts at 09.00.
School closes at 4:40 p.m.
His mother arrives tomorrow.
Our holiday starts on the 26th March.
e. To express future time, after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until, …
Ex: He’ll give it to you when you come next Saturday.
She will see you before she leaves.
We will give it to her when she arrives.
N.B: The simple present is not used to express actions happening now.