Present Simple

Lesson 11. Do you know the correct time expressions for present simple tense? For example "usually", "always". (Many students forget them.) Use this lesson and exercises to ensure you know this tense perfectly in the question and negative forms.

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Present Simple - Exercise 1
  Video Exercise 1   Present Simple - Exercise 2  PDF Exercise 2

Present Simple - Revision PDF
  PDF Handout


Lesson transcript

In the next two lessons we're looking at verb tenses for the present, and we're going to concentrate on the Present Simple and the Present Continuous.

Now, each lesson will be divided into three parts. Part 1 will be example situations.

Part 2 verb conjugations, so positive, question and negative forms.

And Part 3 will be the practice exercises.

So let's get started with Present Simple and examples of Present Simple are: 'I go', 'we play' and 'he eats'.

Part 1, situations used. And there are two types of situations I want to tell you about.

Firstly, we use Present Simple for talking generally.

Two examples here. Number one is:
'I live in Chicago'.

We can also say: 'I am from Chicago' which is also Present Simple.

Second example is:
'Water boils at 100 degrees.'

So, Present Simple for talking generally.

Now, the second way we use Present Simple is for habit.

And again, two examples. First one is: 'I play tennis every Saturday'.

And the second one is: 'We often go on holiday to Spain'.

Now, do notice that both sentences have time expressions.

In the first, it's 'every Saturday' and in the second it's 'often'.

Now, time expressions are really important when learning tenses because they make it easier to remember when to use what tense.

For Present Simple I prepared a list of 7 of the most useful ones, and these are all time expressions of habit.

We'll start with 'always' at the top.

Second, we have 'every day', 'every week', 'every year', which we've seen.

Next one is 'usually'.

Next one we've seen is 'often'.

Going down is 'sometimes'.

Even less common is 'rarely' and finally we have 'never'.

As you might have noticed this list goes in order of frequency, so the most frequent is at the top <here> and the least frequent is 'never' at the bottom <here>.

So that's Part 1, and so far we've seen that we use Present Simple for talking generally. Example: 'I live in Chicago' – and for habit: 'I play tennis every Saturday'.

We've also seen the time expressions like 'every Saturday'.

Let's now turn to the verb conjugations.

And we're going to look at two examples here – 'to live', which is regular – and 'to be' which is irregular.

In each of these example verbs we're going to look at the positive, the question and negative forms.

So, 'to live', positive form:
– I / you / we / they …live
– He / she / it …lives

Now, don't forget the 's' <here> on 'lives'. It's very common that students forget the 's' in the third person and if you do forget this 's' it sounds bad, so remember.

Next, we have the question form and we have:
– Do I / you / we / they …live? and:
– Does he / she / it …live?

So that's the question form, now the negative form:

– I / you / we / they …do not live, and – He / she / it …does not live

In the informal for the first we could say:
– 'I don't live',
And for the second we would say:
– He / she / it …doesn't live

So that's 'to live'. Let's now look at 'to be' in the positive form again:   

– I am
– You / we / they are and
– He / she / it is

And in the informal we would say:
– I'm

<Here> we would say:
– You're, we're, or they're

And <here> we would say
– He's, she's or it's.

So that's the positive form. Let's now go to the question form for 'to be':

– Am I?
– Are you / we / they?, and:
– Is he / she / it?

That's the question form and finally the negative.

<Here> we have:
– I am not
– You / we / they are not and
– He / she / it is not

Turning next to the informal, here we would say:
– I'm not,
<Here> we would say:
– You're not, we're note, they're not

We could also say:
– You aren't, we aren't, they aren't

And finally:
– he's not, or she's not, or it's not and: again we could also say
– he isn't, or she isn't, or it isn't.

So that's the end of Part 2.

Here is the PDF which you can download and as you can see it has the time expressions, it also has the verb conjugations, to live and to be and it has at the bottom some example sentences to remind you of the first part of this lesson.

Join me in Part 3 for the practice exercises and in the next lesson we'll be looking at Present Continuous tense.

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Nouns: Countables, Uncountables (1)
Articles (2)
(3) | (Zero Article 4) | The: Special Uses (5)
There is, there are (6)
Quantity: Some, Any (7) | Many, Much, A lot of (8) | A few, a little (9)
Prepositions of time: In, On, At (10)
The Present: Present Simple (11) | Present Continuous (12)
The Past: Past Simple (13) | Past Continuous (14) | Present Perfect (15)
Irregular Verbs (16)
The Future: Future Simple (17) | Future Plans (18)
Phrasal Verbs (19) (20)

     Countable and uncountable nouns 

     Countable and Uncountable
     Learn the two key rules

     "The": Special Uses
      "The": Special Uses
      10 special uses of 'the' here

     Phrasal Verbs - Part 1 

     Phrasal Verbs Part 1
     Each example with a picture

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