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.

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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.

Correct!

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!

 

Total votes: 2984
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Discussion

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

Comments

MyStudyCoachJonas's picture
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MyStudyCoachJonas 12 April, 2017 - 23:13

I usually get up at 6:30 am to go to my school. First I have breakfast, then I go to the school.

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shamim's picture
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shamim 27 December, 2016 - 18:42

The simple present tense is used for future activities? If yes, Could you please describe "when and how"?

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 27 December, 2016 - 21:25

Hi shamim. That’s right. The present simple is often used for future events which are part of a timetable or a schedule, for example a bus, plane or train and what time it leaves or arrives, what time a shop opens or closes, or when and where an event such as a party will take place.

  • A: What time does this shop close tonight? B: At 8 pm.
  • We’re taking a break now, but class starts again at 3:30.
  • Our train leaves London at 1 pm and gets to Manchester around 3 pm.
  • Hurry up! The film starts at 6:30!
  • My birthday party is next Friday at 8 pm. Please come!

You can consider some of these (such as the first example) as repeated events, so using the present simple for them makes sense. However, notice that even single future events can take the present simple (such as the last example) – as long as they are understood as scheduled. That’s why in the Grammar snack above, this use is referred to as the ‘timetable future’.

Does that help to understand it?

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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EriD's picture
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EriD 8 November, 2016 - 00:17

Hello. I usually get up at 7:00. After I take a shower and I have a breakfast. And then I leave my house and take the bus to the school. The school start 9:00. After school I go to the library and I study english.
After I go back home and eat dinner. I have a free time then I watch movie and relax with my family. I go to bed at 12:00.

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MerveSengun 17 October, 2016 - 20:18

Hello!
I get up 5.30 o'clock weekdays. I wash face and brush my teeth. I don't have breakfast because I don't like breakfast. I wear dress and I leave home 6.15 o'clock. ı come to school. I buy tea and biscuit and I start lesson 8.40 o'clock. I finish lesson 12.30 o'clock. After I go to bus station with Ebrar Sena. I talk bus with Sena. I get off the bus and I walk my home. I go to bed but I don't sleep. I study lesson. After I cook everydays.Because my mother and my father go to work.They came back home at 8.00 pm or 9.00 pm. I have dinner with my family. ı read a book because I love it. Finally I go to bed 12.00 o'clock.

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Aslihangizem 17 October, 2016 - 17:02

I get up at 6,00 o'clock in weekdays. I never have a breakfast in weekdays. Because so early :D I go to the university with tram and metrobus. Lesson starts at 8,40 o'clock. Lesson finishes at 12,30 o'clock. I usually go to home at 2 o'clock. I some watch TV and listen to music. I study English everyday. I have dinner at 9,00 p.m. I go to bed at midnight or 01,00 o'clock.

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Sevdaa 17 October, 2016 - 14:01

I get up 7 o'clock. I have breakfast. I dressed. I leave home 8 o'clock. I go to school. I leave the schoolat 12:30. I have a lunch. I go to home. I study and do homework. I sleep at 11 o'clock.

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Ambrouille 15 October, 2016 - 17:02

Hi there!
So i usually wake up at 8.30 in the morning. After open my eyes, i stand up and go to take m'y breakfast. Then i take a shower an brush 'y teeth at the same time. It's now the time to dress up and put some makeup on my face. Finally i take my bag and go to the subway with some music.

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Yazchilal 15 October, 2016 - 10:53

My Daily Routines;I get up at 7:00 in the morning.I get dressed.Then I have breakfast with my family.For I brush my theeth.I leave the house at about 8.The school starts at 8:40.I leave the school at 12:30.For I have my lunch.I take a rest for an hour.I finish my homeworks.After I eat dinner.I read a book for one hour.I go to bed at 23:00.

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SenaGenc 13 October, 2016 - 18:11

My Daily Routines ; I get up 06.00 o'clock five days a week. I don't have breakfast so I usually hate have breakfast. Only I like drinking tea in the morning. I leave home 06.40 o'clock and 06.45 o'clock get on the bus. I get off the bus 08.00 o'clock and walk to school with my friend Merve. We start lesson 08.40 o'clock. I usually sit at the 2th desk. We finish lesson 12.30 o'clock. I usually tired after lesson. I often go home at once. I go to bed but don't sleep. After I have dinner with family. Finally I study, do homework and after sleep at p.m. 11.00 o'clock.

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Serenus 15 October, 2016 - 16:20

Hi guys
I get up 05.50 o'clock every day. I wash my hands and face. I usually have breakfast because i love breakfast. I brush my teeth and i leave home 06.50 o'clock. I run to the bus every day. After i ride metrobus and after i ride tram. I walk to school 5-10 minutes. Start lesson and i listen my teahcer. İ leave school 12.00-1 o'clock. I return home. I repeat lesson. I have dinner with my family and i drink afternoon tea. I go to bed 11.00-12.00 p.m. o'clock

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IreneTepoz 10 August, 2016 - 04:29

Hello!
I generally wake up at 8:00 a.m, I get up and I have a shower, and I breakfast with my family. I maybe do my homework or I see Netflix, later I go to the school and when it finish, I come back to my house.

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shamim 2 August, 2016 - 18:49

I every day get up at 8 a.m and on the weekend I get to sleep until lunchtime, I every night go to bed at 1a.m.
I go to school at 9 a.m and come back at 2p.m...I tack a shower to eat something and then I do my homework. I eat lunch with my friends at school and eat dinner with my family, after dinner we watch TV and talk together.

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lekimkhanh0109 22 July, 2016 - 02:55

Hi everyone, I'm a beginer so I need helps from you. I watched this video but I don't understand the mean of a sentence. That's : " Wow, that beats going to college." Can u help me explain it? Thank you so much!!!

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Tina - Coordinator's picture
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Tina - Coordinator 22 July, 2016 - 17:46

Hi lekimkhanh0109!
This sentence means that that trekking in Chiang Mai is better or more enjoyable than going to college.
Best wishes, Tina (LearnEnglish Teen Team)

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rose_protected 22 May, 2016 - 16:51

I usually wake up at 7 o'clock, wash my face and take the breakfast. After this, I brush my teeth; I lunch around midday and after brush my teeth again. I have an afternoon snack at 4, 5 p.m. (except on Thursdays), try dinner before 8, around 6 or 7 p.m. and go to the bed at 11 p.m.

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grace14 19 May, 2016 - 15:19

I always get up at five thirty. Then I breakfast and go to school. I come home at four thirty in the afternoon.I have dinner at seven thirty. I often go to bed at nine thirty.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 10 April, 2016 - 08:17

Hi shamim. It means 'That is much better than going to college'. 'That' is trekking in Thailand, which they were just talking about. Alfie is making a comparison between his mother's exciting life (trekking in Thailand) and his own life (going to college), which we can guess he thinks is not so exciting. 

Does that help to understand the phrase?

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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TerzaE's picture
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TerzaE 22 March, 2016 - 15:22

When I go to school I get up at 7 a.m.. I have breakfast at 7.15 a.m..After breakfast I get dressed and I go to school by car. School starts at 8.00 o' clock and finishes at 1.00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it finishes at 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.
Every day I have lunch at home.
In the afternoon I do gym at home on Monday, I go swimming on Wednesday and I do horse riding on Saturday.
In the evening I have dinner at 7.30 p.m.
After dinner I watch films on tv, mostly on Saturday.
I go to bed at 11 p.m..

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0galaxygirl0 17 January, 2016 - 16:24

I get up 6 am weekdays. I am go to school at 7 am. My school starts 8 am and ends 3.10 pm. I eat lunch at 12 am then pray with my friends.I come back home at 3.30 pm. I watch the movie afterschool then I study 3 hours. I go to bed at 10.30 pm

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shamim 16 January, 2016 - 19:39

I get up at 6 am every day and go to school at 7 am. I'm at school from 7:30 am to 2 pm. I eat lunch at 12 am at school with my friends. I come back home at 3 pm and usually I tack a nap after school. I do my homework and watch TV in the evening. eat dinner at 8 pm and go to bed at 11 pm.
On Thursday and Friday I don't go to school, sometimes I go out with my friends on Thursday or go hiking.

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Mariamffa11 13 January, 2016 - 23:10

I get up at around 6 am for school. I go to the bathroom, dress up, grab a snack and leave the house when the bus supervisor calls. I usually wait around 10 minutes for the bus to arrive. In my opinion, going to school is better than staying at home, even though school can be boring sometimes.

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shamim 1 January, 2016 - 15:17

I wack up at 6 a.m, eat breakfast at 7 a.m. I go to school every day from 7:30 a.m to 3 p.m, I'm free on weekends (Thursdays & Fridays). at 1 p.m we eat lunch at school. I usually go out with friends of mine on Thursday or go to school, we can go there on Thursday and study more especially during exams.
I go to English class on even days from 5 p.m to 7 p.m.
Sometimes when there is friend's birthday we tack a party at her house or restaurant.

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the_alchemist 28 November, 2015 - 15:40

I generally get up from bed in 6:30 morning. Then I brush my teeth, take shower, have breakfast. Then I go to college. I back from college at evening. Then I go outside for hangouts. Then I come back home and complete my home work, assignment and lesson.

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Ulya 29 September, 2015 - 17:29

Hello,here's a typical day in my life on a school day.My alarm clock rings at 6 o'clock.I get out of bed and go to the bathroom.I have a wash and then i get dressed.We wear a school uniform at my school,so i don't have to choose what to wear.I go to the kitchen and have breakfast-usually sweet tea and cereal-with my sister.
After breakfast,i brush my teeth.
I go to school on foot.I get to school at 7.45.The first lesson starts at eight o'clock.Lessons lasts for 45 minutes.We have a fifteenminute break between 6th and 7th lessons.During the break we eat lunch.We have school canteen but i don't eat there.I eat chocolate or biscuit and juice.We also,during the break,talk with classmates.We either do sport and basic millitary training.We have 7 or 8 lessons a day.I go home at 2 o'clock.I rest first,then i do my homework,then i check my email.
I have supper with my mum,dad and sister at about seven o'clock.After supper i watch tv or chat with my friends.On Mondays and Thursdays i visit the mathemathics lessons and on Tuesdays,Fridays and Wednesdays i visit English lessons.
I go to bed at about half past nine most nights,but i read in bed before i go to sleep.

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