Daisy is chatting to her brother Oliver, and his best mate Alfie, about her new boyfriend. Daisy and Oliver’s mum is working in Thailand this week.

We use the present simple to talk about repeated actions or events, permanent states or things which are always true. To find out more about the present simple, read and listen to the conversation below.

Can you give me some examples?

Yes, of course. We use the present simple to talk about things which are repeated every day, every week, every year, etc.

I usually get up at 7 o'clock.
During the week I have swimming practice on Mondays, I do taekwondo on Tuesdays and tennis on Thursdays.
We always go on holiday in the summer.

I see. And you use words for explaining more about the time too.

Yes, we often use adverbs of frequency sometimes, often, usually or other time expressions like on Mondays, twice a week or in the summer.

What about permanent states? What does that mean?

Permanent states are situations or feelings which are not temporary.

I like him a lot.
Sophie works as a travel writer.
They live in London.

We also use the present simple for general facts, for example when talking about science or geography.

Thailand is really hot at this time of year.
Snakes live on the ground, in trees and in water.

So what do I need to know about forming the present simple?

The main thing is that the third person singular forms end in -s or -es. That's for he, she or it.

He watches black and white films at his cinema club on Wednesdays.
He thinks chess is a sport!

OK, and the other forms don't end in -s  or -es?  I watch TV a lot. We think Coldplay are boring.


What about questions and negatives?

For most verbs we use the present simple of the verb do/does + subject + infinitive without to to form questions.

Do you see him on Wednesdays then?
Does Jack like sports?

For negatives we use the subject + do/does + not + infinitive without to.

Daisy and Jack don't go out together much at the weekend.
I don't think Coldplay are boring.

To go back to the idea of permanent and temporary things, what about this sentence: Is your mum in Thailand this week? Isn't that temporary?

Yes, it is. That's a very good point. Normally we use the present simple for permanent states, and the present continuous for temporary states, but some verbs are thought of as State Verbs and they are not usually used in the continuous form.

And the verb to be is one of those verbs?

Exactly! So even though staying in Thailand is temporary, we use the present simple with the verb to be. Here's another example:

How's Daisy? Is she with you?   

But that isn't the question form you just told me about! Where's the do?

Ah, no. I said 'for most verbs we use do in questions'. The verb to be is different and so are modal verbs like can. We'll look at the verb to be separately because it's different and very common.

What are the other state verbs?

We'll look at those when we look at the Present Continuous. Any more questions?

Yes, what about: The train leaves at 5 in the morning? Isn't that talking about an event in the future?

Yes, it is, but it's also a repeated event. This is sometimes called the 'timetable future'.

OK, I have a maths class in a minute, so I have to go.

Good use of the 'timetable future'! Bye!


Language level: 


Tell us about your typical day. Remember to use the present simple!


Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 22 September, 2013 - 02:37

Hi ellen :) Sorry, I'm not sure I understand. Could you write your question again?

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RoseAnn's picture
RoseAnn 26 July, 2013 - 12:09

First, I eat breakfast and then i go to school. After school I have piano lesson and after I write my homework and then I'm free. :)

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 24 July, 2013 - 14:30

Hi sama,
Welcome to LearnEnglish Teens and thank you for your comment! :)
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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Hiihoi's picture
Hiihoi 3 June, 2013 - 14:15

I get up at 6 o'clock in the morning. Then I have breakfast together with my mum. At 7 o'clock I take the train to go to school. After school I have lunch and than I usually met some friends. Sometimes I have also music lessons or sports. When I come home I make my homework and watch TV. After dinner I read a book or listen to a CD and then I go to sleep.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 1 May, 2013 - 03:29

Hi paque! Thanks for your comment. If you have a question, or if you tell us which part you don't understand, we'll try to help.
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 26 April, 2013 - 18:54

I get up at seven o'clock, have a shower, have a breakfast and prepare myself for school. Classes finish at two o'clock and I come home. I have a lunch and after that, I usually take a nap, it's so refreshing, and it lasts for half an hour. After that, I do my homework, study for the next day and go to dance classes-my favourite part of the day. I like dancing and it takes me about 3 hours daily, and 4 at weekends. It's sometimes hard to make it, because of so many obligations at school, home etc., but it's possible. After dance classes, I go home, study again and help my mum with dinner and dishes.
I don't have time to watch TV, and I barely go to Internet-just to check email, visit this site:), and see if there's something new. After dinner I call my sister-she's away from home, play with my cat and I read a book, and finally, go sleep at 22:30.

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FERNANDA V's picture
FERNANDA V 17 April, 2013 - 01:18

usually the whole week floor to make the same thing, I get up, I take a bath, I prepare the breakfast and Aug the lunch to take it. Monday study to Tuesday administrative administration and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday work the weekends I stay at home making occupations and works.

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 17 April, 2013 - 09:35

Welcome to LearnEnglish Teens and thanks for your comment. Did you use an online translator to write your comment? There are a few parts that aren't very clear to read and because I know Spanish I can see that maybe you tried using a translator. It's not a problem - sometimes it's useful to use translator tools. But try not to use a translator, and write simple and easy sentences. :)
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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gladys's picture
gladys 7 April, 2013 - 22:02

This page is excellent, because explain very well, is easy for understand so complement us knowledge.

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