We all know that tenses play a very crucial role in English grammar. Generally, there are three main tenses, namely past tense, present tense, and future tense. They basically denote the time of an action, and sometimes, the continuance or the completeness of action concerning the time of speaking.
However, these are the base form of tenses. There are several different aspects of each type of tense in English that express time in different forms. In this post, we will focus on one such aspect of the present tense, the simple present tense. In a general sense, simple present tense is the basic form of tense that uses the base form of a verb, except for the third person.
However, there are rules of using a simple present that many people tend to confuse. So, let us get into a detailed discussion below.
What is a simple present tense?
Simple present tense is a verb tense and is one of the four different aspects of present tense. They basically have two main objectives – to denote something that is occurring right now or something that keeps happening regularly.
In simple words, simple present tense is usually used to denote a verb or an action that occurs habitually in the present. This is the reason why they are also said to be present indefinite tenses.
The simple present tense is quite easy to form. It is the most basic tense that uses the base form of a verb. This means it uses the root form of regular verbs in a sentence without making any changes to them. However, there is one change that occurs depending on the person we are referring to.
If we are talking about I and you, we use the base form, but if we are referring to a third person, we add –s or –es to the verb word at the end.
- I eat fruits every morning.
- Do you play soccer?
- Sameer plays football.
- He eats vegetables a lot.
However, the verb to be is different as it is irregular. When the main verb is to be in a present simple sentence, it is conjugated into simple tense as am, are, is.
- I am Indian.
- They are older.
Furthermore, simple present tense can also form negative and question sentences just like any other verb tenses.
To make a simple present tense negative, we simply conjugate the auxiliary verb do in the sentence. For first and second person, we use do, and for third person, it is does. Here, the main verb constantly maintains its base form. Finally, we put not after the auxiliary verb and before the main verb to negate the sentence. We can also use the contraction form of do not, don’t, or doesn’t.
But, if it’s a verb to be, we do not use any auxiliary verb at all.
- I don’t play chess.
- I am not Japanese.
And to make a question sentence, we use the auxiliary verb first, and the subject follows it. After that, the main verb follows with a question mark at the end.
- Do you eat pizza?
- Does she swim?
So, we have learned what simple present tense is. Now, let us briefly look at its common uses:
- To denote habits, repeated actions, and general truths
- To give directions or instructions
- To express fixed arrangements or timetables
- To express beliefs and opinions
These are the basic points related to simple present tense. While they are easy to form, they can be difficult to use.