Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #38625: Simple Present
We generally use the Simple Present to talk about:
- Habits and repeated actions
This includes daily events, hobbies, habits and things that often happen. Examples: She plays tennis every saturday. We always forget to lock the back door.
It does not matter whether the statement is true as long as the speaker believes it is, or at least says so. We also use simple present to make generalizations. Examples: Snakes change their skins regularly (true statement). Women are complicated (generalization).
- Events in the near future
The Simple Present is occasionally used to talk about something that will happen in the future, and is mostly used when talking about transportation or scheduled eventsl. Examples: The plain arrives tomorrow at 10 a.m. The weekly meeting starts in a few hours. Tutoring sessions start next wednesday.
For speaking about something that takes place at the moment, Present Continuous is used, except when the action concerns a non-continuous verb. These verbs are usually things that can't be seen. Some of them are: to be, to want, to like, to love, to hate, to fear, to envy, to cost, to contain, to seem, to need, to care, to exist, to owe, to belong, to own, etc. They often express emotions or states of mind, and others are related to possesion. Examples: Marie is crying, I think she needs help (she is crying at the moment, so she needs help now). Where is my copy of the textbook? David has it right now, he's over there.
This is how it is generally formed: INFINITIVE (+ s/es with he, she or it)
I play - You play - He/She/It plays - We play - You play - They play
I study - You study - He/She/It studies - We study - You study - They study
The verb to be is different, as it also changes with I:
I am - You are - He/She/It is - We are - You are - They are
Negative and interrogative sentences make use of the auxiliary verb do
I do - You do - He/She/It does - We do - You do - They do
- She doesn't/does not like pop music.
- Do they call their mother every day?
- I don't/do not like being told what to do.
End of the free exercise to learn English: Simple Present
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