Present Simple(Indefinite) tense in English
Present Simple/Indefinite is the default present tense for regular activity. Its form is the bare infinitive. Negative Present Simple has do not = don’t before infinitive. Present Simple questions have the helping verb do before subjects.
I don’t know.
How do you do?
Singular 3rd person
With the singular 3rd person (he/she/it or their substitutes) Present Simple verbs have –s (or –es after –o/ss/sh/ch/x). In consonant + y verbs this –y changes to –ie-.
goes, misses, washes, searches, fixes, tries
The –es ending sounds as [iz] after –ss/sh/ch/x. The –(e)s ending sounds as [z] in all other cases.
Thus negative and interrogative Present Simple in the singular 3rd person has does not = doesn’t. Do(es) forms mini-replies without repeating main verbs.
Does it work? – No, it doesn’t.
This –(e)s Present Simple ending is important but often forgotten.
|does sb do sth||sb does sth||sb doesn’t do sth|
Present Simple Meanings
- states (with stative verbs – senses/feelings/mentalities)
I love vanilla ice-cream.
Adrian needs your help.
- routines (repeated actions)
He usually gets up at 10.
I catch the 8 o’clock train every day.
- axioms (general truths, natural laws)
The sun sets in the west.
Cats don’t like water.
- programs (schedules, timetables)
The train leaves at 3.30 this afternoon.
The Prime Minister starts his official visit to China tomorrow.
- reviews (quotation introduction)
The legend says the apocalypse comes on December, 21 2012.
Mike Dalton plays the part of Macbeth.
- dramatic narratives (sports comments, media headlines)
And Eastwood passes the ball to Andrews.
Riots Break Out In City Center
- instructions (imperative directions)
You take the 1st turning on the left.
You mix the soup with some cream at the end.
Grammatical Present Simple
- future clauses of time/condition (after when/if/unless/before/after/until/as soon as/whenever/whatever/whoever)
Will you tell me if you see her?
I’ll give her the message when she comes back.
Present Simple features the following time references:
- frequency adverbs/adverbials
usually/typically/regularly/as a rule/often, always, sometimes/seldom/rarely/occasionally, never
Do you often go out with your wife?
- time modifiers
every day/week/month/year, in the morning/afternoon/evening, at night, on weekends, on Saturdays, once a week
On evenings we play video games.