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Meaning of the present simple in English

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Translations of the present simple

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to continue to live or exist, especially after coming close to dying or being destroyed or after being in a difficult or threatening situation

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Simple Present Tense: How to Use It, With Examples


The simple present is a verb tense with two main uses. We use the simple present tense when an action is happening right now, or when it happens regularly (or unceasingly, which is why it’s sometimes called present indefinite). Depending on the person, the simple present tense is formed by using the root form or by adding s or es to the end.

I feel great!

Pauline loves pie.

I’m sorry to hear that you’re sick.

The other is to talk about habitual actions or occurrences.

Pauline practices the piano every day.

Ms. Jackson travels during the summer.

Hamsters run all night.

Typically, when we want to describe a temporary action that is currently in progress, we use the present continuous : Pauline can’t come to the phone right now because she is brushing her teeth.

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How to form the simple present

In the simple present, most regular verbs use the root form, except in the third-person singular (which ends in s ).

First-person singular: I write .

Second-person singular: You write .

Third-person singular: He/she/it writes. (Note the s. )

First-person plural: We write .

Second-person plural: You write .

Third-person plural: They write .

For a few verbs, the third-person singular ends with es instead of s . Typically, these are verbs whose root form ends in o , ch , sh , th , ss , gh , or z .

First-person singular: I go .

Second-person singular: You go .

Third-person singular: He/she/it goes . (Note the es .)

First-person plural: We go .

Second-person plural: You go .

Third-person plural: They go .

For most regular verbs, you put the negation of the verb before the verb, e.g., “She won’t go” or “I don’t smell anything.”

The verb to be is irregular:

First-person singular: I am .

Second-person singular: You are .

Third-person singular: He/she/it is .

First-person plural: We are .

Second-person plural: You are .

Third-person plural: They are .

How to make the simple present negative

The formula for making a simple present verb negative is do/does + not + [root form of verb] . You can also use the contraction don’t or doesn’t instead of do not or does not .

Pauline does not want to share the pie.

She doesn’t think there is enough to go around.

Her friends do not agree .

I don’t want pie anyway.

To make the verb to be negative, the formula is [ to be ] + not .

I am not a pie lover, but Pauline sure is.

You aren’t ready for such delicious pie.

How to ask a question

The formula for asking a question in the simple present is do/does + [subject] + [root form of verb] .

Do you know how to bake a pie?

How much does Pauline love pie?

Common verbs in the simple present

The verb to be in the simple present.

present simple meaning

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present simple meaning

the present simple   ​Definitions and Synonyms

American definition and synonyms of the present simple from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.

This is the American English definition of the present simple . View British English definition of the present simple .

Change your default dictionary to British English.

View the pronunciation for the present simple .

Trending Words

Synonyms of the month.

© Getty Images/Denis Tevekov/Blend Images

Simple Present

The simple present (also called present simple or present indefinite) is a verb tense which is used to show repetition, habit or generalization. Less commonly, the simple present can be used to talk about scheduled actions in the near future and, in some cases, actions happening now. Read on for detailed descriptions, examples, and simple present exercises.

Simple Present Forms

The simple present is just the base form of the verb. Questions are made with do and negative forms are made with do not .

In the third person singular, -s or -es is added. Questions are made with does and negative forms are made with does not .

Complete List of Simple Present Forms

Simple Present Uses

Use 1 repeated actions.

Use the simple present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.

USE 2 Facts or Generalizations

The simple present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things.

USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near Future

Speakers occasionally use simple present to talk about scheduled events in the near future. This is most commonly done when talking about public transportation, but it can be used with other scheduled events as well.

USE 4 Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

Speakers sometimes use the simple present to express the idea that an action is happening or is not happening now. This can only be done with non-continuous verbs and certain mixed verbs .

Simple Present Tips

Adverb placement.

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as always , only , never , ever , still , just , etc.


More About Active / Passive Forms

Simple Present Exercises

Present Simple Tense  

What is the present simple tense.

Positive sentences

Negative sentences

Interrogative sentences

Negative interrogative sentences

1. Which of the following sentences is not in the present simple tense?

2. The following sentence is in present simple tense. What kind of sentence is it? “Does he not have a car of his own?”

3. What kind of verb (usually) cannot be used to indicate habit ?

4. Which of the following sentences is in the present simple tense?


present simple meaning

Simple Present Tense: Rules And Examples

Verbs are tricky words, so there is no time like the present to learn about them! We are going to teach you how to use verbs to describe actions happening right now. Don’t worry. You are smart. We believe in you. All of the verbs in the past few sentences have something in common: they are all in the simple present tense . Let’s live for the moment and learn more about what exactly this is right now.

present simple meaning

What is simple present tense ?

In grammar, verbs are words used to refer to actions or states. In English, verbs can be used in 12 different types of verb tenses . The tense of a verb, in general terms, tells you at what period of time something happens. The verb tense we are going to focus on right now is the simple present tense. Appropriately enough, verbs in the simple present tense refer to an action that is happening right now. In the sentence The cat sleeps , the verb sleeps is in the simple present tense. The cat is performing that action right now (so don’t wake her up!).

Simple Present Tense Chart

When do you use simple present tense?

In general, we use simple present tense for two main reasons:

1. We use simple present tense when describing an action or state that is happening right now.

For example, the sentence The airplane flies means, typically, that the airplane is flying right now as we speak.

As another example, the sentence The cheese smells like a garbage dump is describing the cheese being in a stinky state that is happening right now in this moment.

When using verbs this way, it is common to use stative verbs in the simple present tense. Stative verbs are verbs that refer to states rather than actions as in This music sounds terrible. Generally, nonstative verbs are used in the simple present tense when a person is telling a story or writing a narrative. For example, a friend might tell you a story like this:

Picture this: I am at the concert. Music plays. People dance. Everything is great. Suddenly, it rains. I am wearing my nice shirt. I run for cover. It is a close call.

However, we do often use both stative and nonstative verbs in the simple present tense to state facts (because they are true right now) as in Cats have whiskers or I play college basketball.

2. We use simple present tense to refer to an action or situation that happens regularly.

For example, the sentence Jessica exercises at the park expresses the thought that Jessica makes a habit of exercising at the park on a regular basis. Similarly, the sentence The moon looks orange sometimes is stating that the moon has an orange color every once in a while.

Something to keep in mind is that if a sentence is describing a temporary action or state that will continue into the future, it is NOT using a simple present tense verb. For example, the sentences My hamster is getting really fat and I am brushing my teeth are not using a verb in the simple present tense. Instead, these sentences use verb phrases that are in a verb tense known as the present continuous tense .

The verbs was and were can also be used in a variety of way beyond the simple past tense. Learn more about them here.

How to form simple present tense

Out of all the different verb tenses, simple present tense is relatively, well, simple to form. The first general rule is to simply use the root of the verb, which is the form of a verb you will find if you look one up in our incredible dictionary , to form the first and second person constructions. For example:

The second general rule is that you add an -s or -es to the end of the root when used with nouns or pronouns in the third person singular. Typically, you would add an -es when a verb ends in -ch, -sh, – th , – ss , – x , or -z .

If the verb ends in a consonant followed by -y , we change the -y to an -i and add – es . For example, try becomes tries. If the verb ends in a vowel followed by – y , we simply add an – s . For example, say becomes says.

Here are examples of simple present tense verbs used with third person singular nouns and pronouns:

Both of these general rules apply regardless of if the verb is transitive or intransitive . For example:

However, there are two commonly used verbs (among others) that don’t follow these general rules. The first is the verb have. In the third person singular, have becomes has (and not “haves”) when used in simple present tense.

Learn more about how has and have can be used!

The second verb that doesn’t follow these rules is the verb be . As is often the case, the verb be really doesn’t like following the rules. In the simple present tense, the verb be conjugates as follows: in the first person singular, we use the word am. In third person singular, we use the word is . In all other instances, we use the word are.

Here are example sentences using the verb be in the simple present tense:

How to make simple present tense negative

To make the simple present tense negative, we use the phrase do not followed by the root of the verb except in the third person singular, where we instead use does not followed by the root of the verb. The contractions don’t and doesn’t can also be used.

Here are examples of simple present tense in the negative:

A common exception to this rule is our good friend the verb be . When using the verb be , we conjugate as normal and put the word not after the verb. Here are examples:

We can also use contractions:

A less common exception has to do with helping verbs . While helping verbs often aren’t used alone, they come before the word not  when used in the negative. Check out these examples:

All the verbs, none of the errors

Improve your writing with’s Grammar Coach™ , which catches grammar and spelling errors and provides Thesaurus-powered synonym suggestions. Using machine learning, this tool can spot the difference between the different verb tenses, correct and incorrect uses—and much more. Whether you’re writing in the past, present, or future, perfect grammar has never been easier!

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present simple meaning

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Synonym of the day

Mar 7, 2023

Present simple

Learn about the present simple and do the exercises to practise using it.

Level: beginner

The present tense is the base form of the verb:

I work in London. 

But with the third person singular ( she / he / it ), we add an –s :

She works in London.

Present simple questions

Look at these questions:

Do you play the piano? Where do you live ? Does Jack play football? Where does he come from ? Do Rita and Angela live in Manchester? Where do they work ?

We use do and does to make questions  with the present simple. We use does for the third person singular ( she / he / it ) and do for the others.

We use do and does with question words like where , what and when :

Where do Angela and Rita live ? What does Angela do ? When does Rita usually get up ?

But questions with who often don't use do or does :

Who lives in London? Who plays football at the weekend? Who works at Liverpool City Hospital?

Here are some useful questions. Try to remember them:





Present simple negatives

Look at these sentences:

I like tennis but I don't like football. (don't = do not) I don't live in London now. I don't play the piano but I play the guitar. They don't work at the weekend. John doesn't live in Manchester. (doesn't = does not) Angela doesn't drive to work. She goes by bus.

We use do and does to make negatives with the present simple. We use doesn't for the third person singular ( she / he / it ) and don't for the others.



Present simple and present time

We use the present simple to talk about:

I 'm nineteen years old. I 'm a student. He lives in London.
I play football every weekend.
The human body contains 206 bones. Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second.

We often use adverbs of frequency  like sometimes , always and  never with the present simple:

I sometimes go to the cinema. She never plays football.

Here are some useful sentences. Complete them so that they are true for you and try to remember them:

Complete these sentences so that they are true for a friend and try to remember them:








Level: intermediate

Present simple and future time

We also use the present simple to talk about:

The school term  starts next week. The train leaves at 19.45 this evening. We fly to Paris next week.
I'll talk to John when I see him. You must finish your work before you go home. If it rains we'll get wet. He won't come unless you ask him.

ex. Present simple 8

Level: advanced

We sometimes use the present simple to talk about the past when we are: 

I was walking down the street the other day when suddenly this man comes up to me and tells me he has lost his wallet and  asks me to lend him some money. Well, he looks a bit dangerous so I 'm not sure what to do and while we are standing there  …
Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts School. He has two close friends, Hermione and … Shakespeare's Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. One night he sees his father's ghost. The ghost tells him he has been murdered  …

Sir, could you please answer me which one is correct? 1.When I have breakfast, my mom prepares my lunch. 2.When I am having breakfast, my mom prepares my lunch. Is there have any difference? could you explain me, Sir?

Hello JameK,

The second sentence tells us that your mom prepares your lunch while you are in the process of eating breakfast.

The first sentence is ambiguous. It could mean that your mom waits until you have breakfast and then starts to prepare lunch. Maybe you prepare your breakfast and the kitchen is only available for her to prepare lunch once you sit down to eat, for example. Alternatively, it could mean that on certain days you don't have breakfast and on certain days you do and on the days when you have breakfast your mom prepares your lunch. Without any other context it's not clear.

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Sir.

Hello Sir, thank you so much for your wonderful and practical explenation. I wanted to please ask you about the last part, where you explained about using "Present simple" \ "Present continuous" - when talking about the "past" - when you're telling a story and you want to pull the listener into the moment . In the example story you gave, you used both tenses.

My question is - how sould I know, in this case, when to use in the story the"Present simple" and when the "Present continuous"?

Great, I'm glad you found it useful :)

The present simple is used for the main sequence of events (i.e. the things that happened). The present continuous is used for events which are a background to others, as in the example above ("While we are standing there ..." - it seems that "standing there" was the background action to another action that happened). In that way, the use is similar to the use of the past simple and past continuous in a conventional past narrative.

The present continuous can also be used to heighten even further the effect of being in the moment. Adapting the example above, for example: "Well, he's looking a bit dangerous so I'm not feeling sure ..."

I hope that helps.

Sir I'm have some questions regarding simple present tense. For example Daniel goes to market or I don't like black coffee. These are simple present but what about these sentences like Tom does work everyday or I do work everyday. Can you explain do and does sentence ? Next one is about questions. For example where do you live ? or where she does live ? these sentences are easy because w form words are used in first place but the problem is with the sentences like. Do you know how to bake a cake ? In this w form word is used in between of the sentence. Sir can you explain this too ?

Hello AbdulBasit1234,

'do' and 'does' work as both auxiliary verbs and as main verbs. For example, in 'Tom does work every day', 'does' is a form of the verb 'do' -- it means to carry out an action. But in questions or negatives, 'do' and 'does' are auxiliary verbs: in 'He doesn't work on Monday', 'doesn't' is an auxiliary verb; 'work' is the main verb. It's also possible for 'do' to be both an auxiliary and a main verb in a sentence where the main verb is 'do': 'He doesn't do much work' ('doesn't' is auxiliary, 'do' is main).

I'm not sure I understand your second question. If you are asking about 'how', 'how to bake a cake' is simple a phrase. A phrase can take the place of a simple noun. For example, we could replace the phrase with a noun like 'Judy' ('Do you know Judy?') and the sentence structure is the same.

All the best, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

I am a little bit confused about the present tense in short story.

Story: I was walking down the street the other day when suddenly this man comes up to me and tells me he has lost his wallet and asks me to lend him some money. Well, he looks a bit dangerous so I'm not sure what to do and while we are standing there …

I am confused about where it starts with "I was" and then turns to present tense.

Hope you can answer

Hi sxphia_jx,

This is actually quite common in spoken English. Normally, we use past forms for telling stories (narratives). In fact, the verb forms past simple, past continuous, past perfect simple and past perfect continuous are collective sometimes known as 'narrative tenses'. However, when we are recounting a story in a more informal setting (such as telling a joke or a sharing an anecdote), we can use present forms to give a sense of immediacy and to bring the story more to life. As you can see from this text, it's possible to begin with past forms and then switch to present forms for effect.

Present forms can even be used in this way in writing and even in novels. Some well-known examples include One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey), Bleak House (Charles Dickens) and The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins).

I have gone through the article on present simple. It is wonderfully written and has covered its different uses.

What I learnt is that it can be used to talk about the scheduled future events, for example: - 1. The school term starts next week. 2. The train leaves at 19:45 this evening. 3. We fly to Paris next week.

I would like to ask whether we can use simple future (instead of simple present) in these type of sentences like 1. The school term will start next week. 2. The train will leave at 19:45 this evening. 3. We will fly to Paris next week.

Is there any difference in the meaning of the above sentences due to replacement of present simple by future simple or do they mean exactly the same?

Hello Mohit,

I'm glad that you found the page useful. I think you'd find the Talking about the future page useful as well, as it compares the different forms most commonly used to speak about the future. It doesn't cover all possible uses, but is definitely quite useful.

In theory, the three sentences with 'will' could be correct in an appropriate situation, but I'm afraid I'm having a hard time thinking of an example for any of them. The present simple ones are much more commonly used.

If you have a specific situation in mind, please let us know.

Hi, I have questions about summarising. Is it possible to write a whole summary ( for example a book ) in past tenses? And why do we use present tenses + past tenses in a summary?

Hello IRaisa,

Yes, it's possible to use past tenses to summarise. People often use present tenses when telling a story because it makes the story seem more alive or more real. The present tense reflects the reality of the listener, who is finding out about the story in the moment they are hearing it.

In a summary, the present can have a similar sense, or it can also have the sense that the story (or film or whatever) is something that is kind of timeless since it can be told at any time. That is, you can read the book now or read it in the future, and other people read it in the past. It might help to think of the story as a building or the sunrise. Both existed yesterday, are happening today, and we expect them to exist or happen again tomorrow. Just as we say 'The sun rises in the morning', we can use a present simple form to tell or summarise a story.

I hope that's helpful (and not more confusing!). In any case, it's OK to use the past to make a summary of a story, but the present is quite commonly used as well.

Thanks, but I still have a question I read a lot of times when somebody connected Present tenses + past tenses for example Barbossa recruits Gibbs, who burns the charts, admitting he memorized every location. Harry deduces that Voldemort is hunting the Elder Wand, which had passed to Dumbledore after he defeated Grindelwald

What is the purpose of that?

In these cases, the past tense shows that those actions happened before the actions in present tense. The present tense is used to narrate the action or 'current' situation in the story, but, as you have noticed, other tenses can be used when it's necessary to refer to other times.

Does that make sense?

Hello Sir, I have a question – In the following sentence is there any error in 'made it clear' → 'made clear' OR 'poses' → 'pose ' ( as CLIMATE CHANGE and Continued Ecosystem Degradation two nouns are used so we should not add 's/es' in the main verb

Please make it clear Sorry sir, The sentence is: Science has made it clear the adverse impacts that climate change and continued ecosystem degradation poses for the physical world.

Hello Analiza,

The 'it' should be omitted and the verb should be plural: 'Science has made clear the adverse impacts that climate change and continued ecosystem degradation pose for the physical world.'

Sir, cold you explain me this sentence 'give me my book'. Why we use the present simple verb and in what category the verb 'give' belongs to.I mean,is it routine, habit, future, fact?

If this is the full sentence then it is an imperative form. The imperative is used when giving instructions or commands and it is the same as the base form:

Give me my book!

The negative is formed with don't :

Don't go in - the boss is in a meeting.

Don't do that.

Hello I am a fan

Hi, I'd like to ask about adverbs of frequency. I read on your website ( teens ) we can use them at the beginning or at the end of a sentence. "We can use usually, often, sometimes and occasionally at the beginning of a sentence, and sometimes and often at the end." I watch a movie on youtube and a teacher said we can use them in order to emphasise and de-emphasis. So do we use them at the beginning to emphasis and de-emphasis at the end? What's more I'd like to ask about Definite Adverbs of Frequency. For example Every week, In the morning, weekly we can use at the end and if we put them at the beginning they give more emphasis or are they de-emphasised? In additional, can we use any adverb of frequency at the beginning in questions? And what is the difference if we put a signal word after person and after negative ? Is there any difference? I normally don't watch YouTube I don't normally watch YouTube Can we use occasionally, sometimes after negative? I don't occasionally... I don't sometimes...

As you've already observed, the position of adverbs is quite slippery; they are used in many different ways. Our grammar explanations don't go into all the details because it's generally best to learn the basics first and then beyond that it's usually best to have a teacher explain the more complex cases.

Those are a lot of questions! I'm afraid I can't go into depth on all of them, but, taking your question about adverbs of definite frequency, as I understand it, they generally go in front position when they are not the main focus of the idea. For example, if you say 'Every morning I study for 15 minutes', the main focus is on the fact that it's studying that you do every morning; the focus is not on the fact that it is the morning that you do this, but rather that it is studying that you do.

Does that help?

It's okay. I thank you for the answer

I made a sentence: "My idea is main", could you tell me whether it is wrong or not (Please explain and reply to me as fast as possible)

Thank you very much Paul.

Hello Paul-Phan,

Most adjectives can be used before a noun (e.g. in 'The red house is new', the adjective 'red' comes before the noun 'house'; this position of the adjective before the noun is called 'attributive position') or after a link verb (e.g. in 'The house is red', the adjective 'red' comes after the link verb 'is'; this position of the adjective after a link verb is called 'predicative position').

But there are some adjectives that are only used in attributive position or predicative position. 'main' is an adjective that is only used in attributive position -- you can see this in this dictionary entry where it says ' adjective   [ only before noun ] '.

Therefore I'm afraid that your sentence is not correct in normal usage. You could perhaps say something like 'My idea is the main one' or 'My idea is central' instead.

Hope this helps.

Hello sir ,

can we use just future tense without present tense in example above (If it rains we ‘ll get up ) , can we say ( if it will rains we will get up )

Hello g-ssan,

No, we generally don't use 'will' in the if-clause. The exception is when we want to say something like 'if you are so stubborn and insist on...' or 'if you refuse to change'. For example:

If you will arrive late then you will have problems > If you refuse to change and insist on arriving late then you will have problems.

Obviously the weather cannot insist on anything as it is not a person so this rare exception does not apply here.

By the way, strictly speaking English has no future tense. 'Will' is a modal verb which can refer to future time but can also have other meanings. In many cases you can replace 'will' with other modal verbs:

I will go tomorrow > I might/may/should/could/can/ought to/must (etc) go tomorrow.

Hi Jonathan, Thanks so much for your reply. If a teacher in the class wants to ask whether his students already understand his explanation, [1] can he use one of the following questions ? (a) Do you understand what I've just explained to you? (b) Did you understand..... ? (c) Do you get what I've just explained to you ? (d) Did you get....... ? (e) Have you got......?

[2] If all the above questions are appropriate, which one(s) is(are) the most commonly used in this situation?

I would highly appreciate your help.

Best regards,

Yes, all these questions are good, apart from possibly (e). It's grammatically fine, but it might be initially confused with the possession meaning of "have you got", which is the most common meaning of these words. I would say that (a) is the most commonly used.

Hi, I am wondering about questions with basic form 1) Doesn't she drink coffee with cake, then SHE takes training and a bath? 2) Does he download music first to his phone and then listen to it and sing?

Do we use in the 1) takeS due to is there SHE? And did the sentence become an affirmative? 2) In the second one, we don't have HE after the main verb. That's why are we using basic forms there?

1) Yes, right - "takes" follows the subject ("she") so it needs to be "takes" (not "take"). Overall, the sentence is still a question because it ends with a question mark, but there is an affirmative clause inside it. In this way it's a mixture of a question and an affirmative sentence.

2) Yes, right. In this example, we have several verb phrases coordinated by the word "and". The word "and" links grammatical units of the same level (e.g. clause, phrase). Here, it links three verb phrases: "Does he download music first to his phone and then listen to it and sing ?" The basic structure is "Does he A and B and C ?" and A, B and C will all be in the same grammatical form as each other (here, the base verb form).

I do appreciate it. I thank you.

Hi, I have a question about the sequence of actions in the present simple. I played in GTA VC yesterday and I read a sentence " We walk into the bank, we wave the gun around, and leave very rich men" It was a cutscene, and it refers to the future. Can we use actions of sequences in the future? I got a screenshot of proofreading the sentence " We will walk into the bank, we wave the gun around, and leave very rich men" What is the difference between both of them? Do we in the first one put into the moment? And the second one just refers to the future consequently does it have the future simple?

2. She wakes up at 7:30. She goes to the bathroom and brushes her teeth. After that, she leaves and eats breakfast. What about the situation? It just refers to repeated situations I am right, aren't I?

I'm afraid I'm not completely sure what the context is here -- I don't understand 'GTA VC' or exactly what a cutscene is or why you're viewing it, or who did the proofreading.

I think the best way to make sense of this use of the present simple is to see it, as you suggest, as a sequence of actions that they are discussing. It's kind of a plan, but it's more like a cooking recipe here than them committing to doing it. I don't know the context, but it almost sounds as if one person is trying to convince another that it's simple to rob a bank, as simple as making toast or boiling eggs.

With the other situation, again, I'd need to know more about the narrative context and/or purpose of these sentences.

Hi, GTA VC is a game- Here we have the cutscene and the mission of GTA VC: ----- The Cutscene occurs from the beginning to 1:00 The sentence I wrote previously occurs at 0:54 At 2:40 you can see they are actually robbing the bank At 7:29 you can read the sentence " We made it! We're rich rich! " Consequently, Tommy ( the person who speaks at 0:54 ) says about the plan they want to do in the future ( 2:40- we can they are doing it ) and at 7:29 we see they did it The proofreading was made by a native who does it every day. Original: We walk into the bank, wave the gun around, and leave very rich men. ( 0:54 of the movie ) The native: We WILL walk into the bank, wave the gun around, and leave very rich men. I actually thought about it yesterday and here is a question: What about future tenses which describe subplot ( background ) and the present simple main plot ( foreground ) Does it make sense? I found some examples of the sequence of actions 1) When I get home, I take a shower, then I watch some television and after that I check my emails 2) First I get up, then I have breakfast. 3) First I brush my teeth and then I have breakfast. 4) After school I switch on my computer, then I check my emails and after that I play my favourite game. What about them? Do they describe a plan for what we want to do in the future? Or our habits- What do they do regularly? Or rather It depends on the context

Hello lRaisa,

Thanks for the providing the full context, but I'm afraid this is well beyond the kind of thing we can help you with. We often try to help our users with short segments of text from longer ones, but I'm afraid we just don't have the time to be checking videos that we didn't produce. I can't really explain the native proofreader's choices, nor do I understand exactly the situation: there's what the characters say, but is their conversation written by a writer, or is there someone transcribing what people say as they play the game and then there are subtitles? It's all very unclear to me, but again, as I said, I'm afraid we just aren't able to help with this.

What I can say is that the 'original' text ('We walk into the bank, wave the gun around ...') sounds most natural and correct to me for that situation. It's not simply a statement about the future; as the character says, it's what we see in films. The present simple is also used to describe habitual actions.

It's important to remember that every tense can be used in multiple ways, and so a tense can mean different things in different situations. When someone uses a tense, they have an intention and meaning in mind and then we use our knowledge of the situation to understand (not always successfully!) what their meaning and/or intentions are.

I'm sorry I can't give you a clearer answer, but I don't think there really is one here.

Thank you for the replies and your time

Hi Jonathan, I'd like to ask for your favour on how to make questions asking about the ordinal rank or position. For example, how should we ask in order to get the following answers : [1] I'm the third son in my family. [2] Mr. Obama was the 44th president of the USA.

Your reply would be highly appreciated. Best regards,

Hello melvinthio,

As far as I know, there's no convenient way to do this. For families, people tend to say something like 'Are you the oldest?' (or 'youngest' or 'middle child'), or you could say 'Which child are you? The first?' (or 'oldest') or something similar. You could also say 'What number child are you?', but I think one of the other questions I suggested is more common.

With other situations, such as US presidents, I think the most common way to ask is 'What number president was Lincoln?', but I'm sure there are other possibilities.

1.)What hobbies do you do? 2.)What kind of hobbies do you do? 3.)Which hobbies do you do? Above three sentences, which one os correct? Can I say which number child are you instead of what number child are you?Please, clarify me Sir.

All three questions are correct :) They are all commonly used.

Yes, you can use "which" instead of "what" in that question.

Hi Jonathan, I've just found this page, so I post again my questions I raised a days ago. Is the present or the past correct for the following sentences? Or can both be used interchangeably?

[1] Prof. Smith is a famous physicist. He (is/was) a graduate of Yale university.

[2] John is a successful entrepreneur. He (is/was) the founder of his company.

I'd appreciate your help to give me a clear explanation.

Hi melvinthio,

I don't think either form is wrong here but the past tense would be more appropriate if something were no longer true - i.e if Prof. Smith had died or if John had left his company (so it would no longer be his company). Since there is no indication that either of these is the case I would use the present tense.

Hi Peter, Thanks so much for your explanation. To avoid a misunderstanding, I'd like to confirm that we can also use the past tense (besides the present tense) if Prof. Smith is still alive and John is still working at his company. Is my understanding right?

The sentences would then read: [1] Prof. Smith is a famous physicist. He was a graduate of Yale Univ.

[2] John is a successful entrepreneur. He was the founder of his company.

Your explanation would be highly appreciated.

Hi again melvinthio,

Yes, that's right, though it may be confusing for the listener. For example:

We drove to Italy for our holiday because we had a dog. I didn't know you used to have a dog. Yeah. Actually, he's still with us but he's getting old now,

Here the past tense is used (we had) and it is correct but leads to confusion because the listener does not know if the speaker still has a dog.

We use present simple when we give instruction or directions. But is it possible to use other tenses for them ?

Hello Faii,

Present simple or imperative forms are the most common, I think, but other forms are possible such as modal verbs (should, need, must, have to etc).

Can we use other tenses(present perfect,past indefinite)in this following example? "It's OK.i forgive you " In my textbook it says ,"I forgive,I promise,I insist,I agree" etc these type of words are normally used in present simple but they didn't clear can we use it in other tenses or not

present simple meaning


Present Simple Tense (Simple Present): Definition, Rules and Useful Examples

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Present Simple! In this section, we will be taking a look at the present simple tense in much more detail. This will not only give you a clearer understanding of this aspect of grammar but will also enable you to form more concise sentences.

Learn useful grammar rules to use the Simple Present Tense in English with example sentences and ESL printable worksheets.

Table of Contents

Present Simple

What is the simple present tense.

If you want to talk about an action which is happening in the present moment, you will be using the present simple tense. This is a tense commonly used within the English language and comes with its own set of grammar rules. It is important to understand these rules and know how to use them so that your speech is clear and comprehensive.

The simple present tense of English language verbs is more complicated than the name suggests. In English grammar, the  simple present tense  is one of the verb forms associated with the  present tense .

The simple present tense is typically used for the following four general cases:

The key thing that simple present tense verbs ARE NOT used for is to talk about an action that subject is performing in the present. That usage is more geared towards present participles.

The first person, second person, and third person plural regular verbs are straightforward and are just like the infinitive form of the verb most of the time.

The third person singular has a couple rules associated with it that may take a bit of memorization at first but will become second nature through repetition.

The simple present tense can be combined with several expressions to indicate the time when an action occurs periodically, such as “every Tuesday”, “always”, “usually”, “twice a month”, etc…Additionally, this form can be made negative or can be used in the interrogative form as well. There is a lot of flexibility to this so-called simple tense to express complex ideas.

In the next section are ten examples to demonstrate the different spellings and the various use cases described above. After that are several exercises to provide practice identifying the different forms of the simple present tense verb. As always, a good way to continually reinforce this information is to try and identify this type of verb while reading and always, always, always keep a dictionary or google search window handy.

Simple Present Tense Structure

Present simple tense with “to be” (am/is/are).

Affirmative sentence:

S + am/is/are + predicate…

He is a doctor.

Negative Sentence:

S + am/is/are + not + predicate…

He isn’t a doctor.

Interrogative Sentence :

Am/Is/ Are + S + predicate?

Is he a doctor?

Simple Present Tense with Other Verbs

S + verb + object…

We like tea.

Negative sentence:

S + don’t/doesn’t + verb + object…

We don’t like tea.

Interrogative sentence:

Do/ Does + S + verb + object?

Do you like tea?

Examples of the Simple Present Tense

How to Use the Simple Present

The present simple tense usage.

The Present Simple tense is used to express:

General Truth

The sun rises in the east.

I play badminton every Tuesday.

Future Timetables

Our train leaves at 9 am.

Future after “When”, “Until”…

I won’t go out until it stops raining.

Permanent Situations

He works in a bank.

For Newspaper Headlines

Man enters space.

With Non-progressive

I believe that you are innocent.

When Telling Stories

Suddenly, the window opens and a masked man enters.

For Giving Directions and Instructions

First of all, you break the eggs and whisk with sugar.

Notes for the Present Simple

The basic form of the simple present is the same as the base form of the verb, unless the subject is third person singular, in which case a form with the addition of  -(e)s  is used.

For verbs that end in – o , – ch , – sh , – s , – x , or – z , the suffix – es  is added

Touch – Touch es

Fix – Fix es

For verbs that end in a  consonant  +  y , the letter  y  is replaced by the suffix – ies .

Try – Tr ies

Study – Stud ies

Carry – Carr ies

In other cases, the suffix – s  is added.

Cook – Cook s

Say – Say s

Laugh – laugh s

Time Expressions in the Present Simple Tense

Present Simple Tense Chart

Present Simple Tense

Simple Present Tense Exercises

Instructions : Each question will present a sentence with one or more empty spaces. The correct form of the verb or verbs must be selected from the answers given (A,B,C,D).

12 Verb Tenses in English

Learn all (12) tenses in English with useful grammar rules, examples and ESL worksheets.

Verb Tenses Chart

Present Simple Tense: Useful Rules & Examples


This is very useful for me to enhance my English grammar.

Well noted thanks


The chart explains every thing in a simple way with all contents in it.


thank yo so much. ir helped me a por.


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