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!



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


Youjiro's picture
Youjiro 31 January, 2019 - 14:04

I get up early morning to preparing to class.I cook hotcake by myself in the kitchen .I stir egg and powder in a bowl ,after that I pour it on the flying pan.I bake it 3 minute on the pan .I eat it with honey and one cup of coffee.After I wear clothes in my room.I go to bus stop at 7 am.I read a book on the public bus.I study lot of things in a class.After school I come back home as soon as possible to do homework.At 6 pm I take a bath and take a shower.
I eat dinner alone at 7 pm .I watch a TV or listing a podcast.I go to bed at 10 pm. I sleep on a bed 10:30 pm.I enjoy a dream alone.

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Joa's picture
Joa 3 June, 2021 - 20:17

I usually get up at 7 in the morning to receive virtual classes. Then I exercise in the afternoon and do my homework. I usually sleep later.

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lalanieves30's picture
lalanieves30 26 January, 2018 - 02:19

I generally get up in 8:00 morning, then I bush my teeth, take a shower, have a breakfast. I go to the work, my work stars 12:30 and ends 4:30. I drive to go home, I watch tv, I cook, I plan my class, listen to music, I go to bed and I sleep.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 26 January, 2018 - 11:10

Thanks for your comments. This website is specially for teenagers aged 13-17 years old. You are welcome to keep on using LearnEnglish Teens but if you are over 17, 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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Nerio024's picture
Nerio024 25 January, 2018 - 18:25

Hello :-)! I'm a bit confused with one sentence. Can you please help me understand why in this sentence stands TOLD OFF (why it's in the past)?
Nick always gets TOLD OFF for talking in class.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 26 January, 2018 - 05:59

Hi Nerio024. Good question! For the answer, look at the whole verb phrase: 'gets told off'. It's actually a passive structure (get + past participle), and 'told off' is the past participle of 'tell off'. The sentence is about the present (because 'gets' is in the present tense). 

For more about the passive using 'get', have a look at https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/grammar-vocabulary/grammar-videos/passive-forms :)

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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