The present simple

The present simple

Instructions: 

As you watch the video, look at the examples of the present simple. They are in red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, the present simple tense.

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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.

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: 2435

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Discussion

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

Comments

rose_protected's picture
106x
5x

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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10 users have voted.
grace14's picture
202x
5x

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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14 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
75065x
671x

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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16 users have voted.
TerzaE's picture
37x
1x

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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22 users have voted.
0galaxygirl0's picture
191x
6x

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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26 users have voted.
shamim's picture
2497x
57x

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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28 users have voted.
Mariamffa11's picture
3160x
68x

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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29 users have voted.
shamim's picture
2497x
57x

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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28 users have voted.
the_alchemist's picture
1268x
24x

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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29 users have voted.
Ulya's picture
60x
1x

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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44 users have voted.
Mayito's picture
73x
1x

I usually get up at 3:40 a.m., after I go to gym at 4 a.m until 5 a.m and come back to my home and I get up my sons for they take a shower and have breakfast and go at school.

additional, I take a shower and wear my clothes, have a brekfast with my husband and together we are going to the office , first he pickup to my office and after he goes to his office. In the afternoon at the six pm Carlos pickup me in my office to comeback together at home and we see the children and check their homework and we go the bed at 9pm for rest and wait a new day for the same routin.

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50 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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671x

Hi Mayito. Thanks for your comment but this website is specially for teenagers aged 13-17 years old. You are welcome to keep on using LearnEnglish Teens but please do NOT post any more comments as we must keep this strictly for teenagers to interact with each other. You are welcome to join our LearnEnglish page for adults and post comments there: www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish

Best wishes, 

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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51 users have voted.
KingWolf99's picture
1942x
33x

Hi everyone! I usually get up at 7 o' clock, I have a quick shower and get dressed. I have breakfast (always biscuits with milk) at 7.30. Then I go to school. I finish it at 13.00 and I get home at 13.30. I have lunch and then, I do my homework. Terminated it, I often play piano or read a book (my favourite is The Mortal Instruments-City of Glass! I read it six times O.O). I have dinner at 20.00, then I watch TV and, finally, I go to bed! I think that when I go to bed is the best moment of the day: I love sleeping! *_*

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62 users have voted.
DROPE's picture
1497x
17x

first I get up at 7 am, then I cook breakfast, breakfast at 8 am, I take a shower, then I go to the University until 5pm, I came home at 6 pm, at home I watch tv game pc, eat, do my homework and finally sleep.

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63 users have voted.
cristophersaa's picture
1524x
21x

I get up at 8:00, after that I leave my house to go the university at 8:30. my english class start at 10:00 and after that I return to my home to do some homework and train soccer on my club, at 20:00 i take a shower and after y try to sleep.

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73 users have voted.
Eseban's picture
1374x
17x

i get up at 8 o'clock , I take a shower and then i have a breakfast at 8:30, I take the bus to university at 9 o'clock becouse I have my English class at 10 , and after I go to my house an then I do my homeworks , I play video games at 5 to 9 and i go to sleep at 11 .

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70 users have voted.
stephania1799's picture
1648x
22x

I always get up at 7:30, I eat breakfast and then I go to take a shower and get dress. At 8:45 I go to feed my puppy and finally I leave to my house and I go to college for my classes. When I done my classes my boyfriend pick me up and I go home to do my homework. I eat dinner, feed my puppy and I sleep around 23:00 pm

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64 users have voted.
nandosc9's picture
1597x
19x

I get up at 4:30 am, I take a shower and I eat breakfast. At 5:30 I take a bus to go to my university, usually I sleep during the travel. I arrive to the college at 7:00 am and I start classes at 7:30 am. When we don't have many homework and the classes end I go to eat pizza, talk or do anything with my friends.
I arrive to home at 7:00 pm and I do homework. Finally I sleep at 11:30 pm or 1:00 am.

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68 users have voted.
mike95rob's picture
1608x
21x

In weekdays, i get up at 6 am, i have breakfast i go to the university with my dad in his car i start my class at 7am and i finish my classes at 3 pm. After i do my homework at home. then i go to the gym then i have dinner with my family and i go to sleep

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73 users have voted.
JennySam's picture
1621x
21x

Every day I get up at nine. First I have breakfast and watch television. Then I do homework and I have a lunch and I go to the university at quarter to two. My class ends at 8 p.m. Then I go to the home by bus. I come home at half past nine. I eat dinner and I don't my homework in the evening because I always tired in the evenings. Finally I watch television about two hours and I go to the bed.

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63 users have voted.
Angielu's picture
1510x
19x

In weekdays, i get up at 8 am, then i have breakfast with my parents. at 9 am i take the bus to go to university. i finish my classes at 5 pm. After that i do my homework at home. I dont have time to watch TV. After dinner i talk with my parents about my day and finally i go to sleep around 22pm.

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67 users have voted.
Ve4n's picture
1050x
8x

I get up at 7:30,then i dress,and after that my mom comes into my room and makes me eat "healthy" food like porridge and bananas. my school starts at 8:30 and ends at 4 p.m. when i get back from school, first of all i do is prepearing my homework for tomorrow or for several next days, if it's possible. Then, when all is done, i have a free time.

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150 users have voted.
dilarakoc's picture
177x
1x

Every day I get up at nine. First I have breakfast and wacht television. Then I do homework and I have a lunch and I go to the university at quarter to three. My class ends at 9 p.m. Then I go to the home by tram and bus. I come home at half past ten. I eat dinner and I just a little study English. Finally I watch television and I go to the bed...

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138 users have voted.
Karatas's picture
218x
1x

Every day I get up at nine.First I wash my face and my hand.Then I have a breakfast and I read my emails. I do my homework.After that I sometimes read the news online.I go to school at half past three.I come home at ten o'clock. I don't my homework in the evening because I always tired in the evenings. I often watch about two hours tv. I go to bed.

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162 users have voted.
BrcYlmz's picture
207x
1x

My Typical Day Everyday I get up at nine o'clock.First, I have breakfast and watch TV.Then, I study English.After that,I go to school at half past three.I come home at ten o'clock.Finally,I watch TV and go to bed.

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153 users have voted.
bori11's picture
475x
3x

Hi! I get up at 6:30 am. I wash my face, put on my clothes and brush my hair. Then I have breakfast and brush my teeth. I go to school at 7:30 am. The school starts at 7:45 and ends at 13:15. I go home and have lunch, then I do my homework and study. I go to flute lesson at 15:00 am. The flute lesson ends at 15:30 and I go home. I read and watch TV or play computer games. Then I study eight new English words, because I want to study the most important words of my dictionary and do some exercise of this website (I like it very much). About 7:00 am have dinner. At 8:00 I get shower and brush my teeth. At 10:00 am I go to bed.

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135 users have voted.
olgunsoy's picture
226x
1x

Every day I get up at 9. First, I have a big breakfast and listen to music. Then I go to work. My work, lecture. Then I have a lunch and go to the university. There are says friends before. Then I go to the class. My class stars at 5p.m. When finished the course, we can walk to the tram. I came home, I eat dinner. After that, I'm studying. Then I'm reading and I'm online. Finally, I watch TV. series in two parts. And, I sleep two hours.

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181 users have voted.

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