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: 1659
Discussion

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

Comments

DROPE's picture
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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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4 users have voted.
cristophersaa's picture
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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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8 users have voted.
Eseban's picture
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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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6 users have voted.
stephania1799's picture
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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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7 users have voted.
nandosc9's picture
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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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8 users have voted.
mike95rob's picture
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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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8 users have voted.
JennySam's picture
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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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6 users have voted.
Angielu's picture
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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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6 users have voted.
Ve4n's picture
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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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68 users have voted.
dilarakoc's picture
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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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56 users have voted.
Karatas's picture
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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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63 users have voted.
BrcYlmz's picture
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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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62 users have voted.
bori11's picture
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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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63 users have voted.
olgunsoy's picture
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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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71 users have voted.
OLEG's picture
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I get up at 7:00 am. I have breakfast at 7:15.Then I go to school at 7:30. I come home at 2:00 pm.I have lunch at 2:30.Then I go for a walk.I do homework from 3:30 till 4:15.I go to bed at 9:00 pm.

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71 users have voted.
Taioor's picture
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I get up at 5:00am in the morning. I drink a big glass of tomato juice.Then i pray for about an hour..After that i go out for running,that lasts about half an hour. I don't like the idea of having breakfast.At 8:00am i sit for studying till 1:00pm in the noon.After that i have lunch and then i talk to my parents.Again from 4:00pm to 6:00pm i study IT. Finally I do cardio workout and then i am free.

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64 users have voted.
Fatime143's picture
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I always get up at 6 o clock,have a shower and dresses.I have breakfast at half past six.I leave home at a quarter to seven.I came to school at 7:50.After school,i do my homework at home.I dont have time to watch TV.After dinner i read book.and finally i go to sleep at 22:00.

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97 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Hi rinaismail. Well, the sentence has two parts. "Jimmy is looking" is in the present continuous, and "he hears the roar" is in the present simple. :-)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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90 users have voted.
AnaB's picture
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Hi! I always get up in 7 o'clock in the morning. Than I have breakfest. While I finish my friend wait for me. Than we go together to school. I'm in school for seven or sometimes eight houres. I come home. I have lunch. Than I go in my room and clean it. After that I go to study.When I finish with my homework I go online. Than my mum comes home and she is asking us about the new lessons. And after some houres, dad come home. We have dinner, and sometimes, usualy at Fridays and Saturdes I go out with my friends. I hope past simple, in this text, here is correct. :3
I almost forget, what's that 'timetable future'? Is there some special lesson for this. I'm hearing for this frist time. And it's something strange for me. :3 :)

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99 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Hi Ana! You wrote about your daily routine very well. You sound quite busy :) I/you/we/they take the basic verb form and you used this correctly. Don't forget that for he/she and it, add "s" to the verb.

Here's a bit more about the 'timetable future'. Look at these examples:

  • Hurry up! The film starts at 6:30!
  • My birthday party is next Friday at 8pm. Please come!
  • Which train are you on? What time does it arrive? I'll come and meet you at the station.

You can use the present simple to talk about something that will happen in the future, for example a bus, plane or train and what time it will leave or arrive, what time a shop will open or close, or when and where an event such as a party will take place. These are especially things that are part of a timetable or schedule, so they happen regularly. 

I hope that helps! Thanks for your question and please write again if anything else isn't clear!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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108 users have voted.

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