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PRESENT SIMPLE TENSE: formation and use

(example : to play)

The present simple tense of verbs in English is formed as follows:

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
Long Form Contracted Form
I play I do not play I don't play Will I play?
You play You do not play You don't play Do you play?
He/she/it plays He/she/it does not play He/she/it doesn't play Does he/she/it play?
We play We do not play We don't play Do we play?
You play You do not play You don't play Do you play?
They play They do not play They don't play Do they play?

The present simple tense is used :
  • To talk about regular activities :
    • John plays tennis once a week.
    • We start work at 9 a.m. every morning.
    • Tom has lunch every day with his colleagues.
    • Mary goes to visit her parents on Sundays.
    • Alex takes the bus every day.
  • To talk about tastes :
    • Peter likes Chinese food.
    • Julie doesn't like classical music.
    • Many people dislike snakes and spiders!
    • Most children love chocolate.
    • Eva hates most sports but she enjoys swimming.
  • To talk about facts :
    • The sun rises in the east.
    • In Europe, the weather is cold in winter.
    • Authors write books and articles.
    • Horses and cows can sleep while standing up.
    • Students go to school or attend college.
  • To give instructions or directons:
    • You walk up the hill, then you turn left at the church.
    • First you pour the mixture into a dish, then top with grated cheese.
  • To talk about fixed arrangements:
    • The concert starts at 9 pm.
    • Our flight leaves at 11h40 tomorrow.
  • With stative verbs:
    • Verbs that express state rather than action:
      like, love, hate, see, hear, believe, know, understand, think, need ...
      More on stative verbs here

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