Present Simple Tense

Unlocking the English language starts with understanding its core verb tenses. One of the most basic and frequently used tenses is the present simple tense, which we use to talk about habitual actions, general truths, and states.

This post will provide a comprehensive overview of the present simple tense, highlighting correct usage with helpful examples. Make sure to stay until the end where we’ve prepared some engaging ‘fill in the blank’ exercises for practice!

What is the Present Simple Tense?

The present simple tense is a verb tense used to express actions or states that are generally true or occur regularly. It is commonly used to discuss habits, facts, and routines. It’s simple, straightforward, and forms the building blocks of English communication.

How to Form the Present Simple Tense

Regular verbs: With regular verbs, the present simple tense is formed by using the base form of the verb. For example, ‘run’ stays as ‘run’ and ‘jump’ remains ‘jump’. However, in third person singular (he, she, it), an ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ is added to the verb. For instance, ‘he runs’ or ‘it jumps’.

Irregular verbs: For the verb ‘to be’, the present simple tense does not follow the regular pattern. ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘we’, ‘they’ use ‘are’, while ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’ uses ‘is’. Examples of Present Simple Tense Regular verbs: I walk to school every day. She plays the piano in the evening. Irregular verb (to be): I am happy. He is a teacher.

Incorrect Usage of Present Simple Tense

Here are some examples of incorrect usage of the present simple tense:

He play football on Saturdays. (Incorrect: use ‘plays’, not ‘play’) I is a student. (Incorrect: use ‘am’, not ‘is’)

Purpose of the Present Simple Tense

The primary function of the present simple tense is to express routine actions, facts, and general truths. It can be used to talk about:

Habits and routines: I brush my teeth twice a day. General truths: The sun rises in the east. States: She likes coffee.

Practice: Fill in the Blanks

Now it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Try to fill in the blanks with the correct present simple tense form of the verbs:

I ___ (read) a book every night before bed.

She ___ (enjoy) playing tennis on the weekend.

We ___ (be) best friends since childhood.

They ___ (work) at the same company.

Check your answers at the end of the post.

With consistent practice, you’ll master the present simple tense in no time!