Basic English Grammar Lesson: The Simple Present

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

I live in New York

I live in New York

Today, let’s have a look at a basic part of English grammar that many people have a hard time with.  With the simple present tense, you need to be very careful about the formation of the verbs. In English, the verb changes depending on who you are talking about. All you need to remember is that he, she, and it need the “s” at the end of the verb. For example:

  • I like pizza, you like pizza, we like pizza, they like pizza.
  • He likes pizza, she likes pizza, it likes pizza

I can not tell you how often I hear things like, “He like pizza very much,” from even very fluent English speakers!

Here are the spelling rules for regular verbs. For most verbs, just add “s” to the base verb:

  • like → likes
  • come → comes
  • bring → brings

For verbs that end in a consonant plus “y,” change “y” to “I” and add “es”

  • study → studies
  • cry → cries
  • try → tries

For verbs that end in a vowel (a-e-i-o-u) plus “y,” change “y” to “I” and add “s”

  • pay → pays
  • enjoy → enjoys
  • stay → stays

For verbs ending in “s,” “z,” “ch,” “sh,” or “x,” add “es”

  • kiss → kisses
  • buzz → buzzes
  • teach → teaches
  • fix → fixes

There are a number of exceptions, and you can find a list of these in any good grammar book. For example:

  • have→ has
  • am → is (the be verb)
  • go → goes

We use the simple present tense in English to talk about what is generally or usually true.

  • I open my school at 8:30am. I open…
  • The bank opens at 9:00am. it opens…
  • The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • Birds fly south in the winter.

We also use the simple present tense to talk about our habits.

  • I wake up at 6:15am every morning.
  • My dog barks when she sees a squirrel.
  • Jack plays golf on the weekend.

We also use the simple present tense to talk about permanent situations.

  • The Yankees play in Yankee Stadium.
  • I live in New York.
  • The Empire State Building is on 34th Street.

Now it’s your turn. How about trying to write an original sentence using some of the above patterns. Use the comment box below!

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If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them.

Thanks for studying today!