How do we use the simple present tense?
Knowing verb tenses is a basic part of learning any language, especially English. The verb shows the action in a sentence. The word tense comes from Middle English, and has the meaning of “time.” This was derived from tempus in Latin.
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.
Keep in mind the best way to remember this or any vocabulary in English is to take the word or phrase write it in a sentence that’s true for you or true in your world and then memorize your sentences.
You can even take your sentences and write them in the comments below. I would love to see your examples. And if you really want help with vocabulary, sign up for my free vocabulary workshop (see below).
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!
FREE Vocabulary Workshop
Learn how to get, learn, and remember vocabulary
Building vocabulary is the key to speaking more fluently and with more confidence.
- Where and how to get new words
- The best way to study and learn your new words
- How to own your new vocabulary
My students tell me that it’s easy to learn new vocabulary words, but really difficult to remember them when you need to use them. Now, I’ll show you how to do both!
Start really building your vocabulary today! (Free PDF download included)