What is Simple Present Tense and How to use it? - don-english
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What is Simple Present Tense and How to use it?

    What is simple present tense? Many things can be stated using simple present-tense English sentences. Maybe, this is very common for all of us. Indirectly and without us realizing it, in fact, we often use this type of tense in everyday life. However, we should not underestimate such things.

What is Simple Present Tense and How to use it?
What is Simple Present Tense and How to use it?

What is Simple Present Tense and How to use it?

    Many people do not know what it actually means and what its uses are. Let's discuss it thoroughly in this article.

The Definition of Simple Present Tense

Definition 1: 

    Definition from Cambridge, "Simple present is the tense that is used to refer to events, actions, and conditions that are happening all the time, or exist now".

    From the definition, we can understand the outline of this tense from the word "happening all the time or exist now". In other words, everything that happened in the present time.

Definition 2:

    In another definition from Grammarly, "The simple present is a verb tense which is used in two main actions, the action is happening right now or it happens regularly.

    From the second and first definitions, we can conclude that the outline of this type of tense lies in the time it is used. Of course, at present time or in other conditions.

For your information,

    The present simple is one of the four types of tenses included in the present tense. 

    There are three other types that include in the same group, namely: present continuous, present perfect, and present perfect continuous. In fact, this type of tense is not used to express something that is happening right now. We use another tense to express it.

Why it's called "simple"?

    The word "simple" in this type of sentence, that is because basically, the basic form of the verb used in this tense consists of only one word. 

    In other words, the verbs used in this type of tense do not require an auxiliary verb to be fully defined in the sentence.

The Use of Simple Present

    In the beginning, it was explained that this type of tense is used when using the current time. However, it can be further grouped into several functions that describe the use of this tense.

1. For habits

    The first function of using present simple is used to express various things that become habits. Habits, such as daily routine activities, every month, every year, or every certain moment. 

    Usually, to express habits, the adverb of frequency is used, like always, usually, seldom, every, etc. That's also called the time signal for this tense.

For example:
  • Every day, I wake up at 4 AM.
  • My brother has to work out twice a week.
  • My mother always cooks fried rice for my breakfast.

2. For general truth

    The second use of simple present tense is to express all about facts or anything that becomes a general truth.

    In the other words, this type of tense is used to express everything that is believed to be true by many people. 

  • Water freezes at zero degrees.
  • The sun rises from the east.
  • I am Indonesian.

3. For instructions or directions

    Third, it is used for instructing others to do something. We use this type of tense as a command word that ends with an exclamation point (!).

  • Close the door, please!
  • Sit down, please!
  • Read loudly!

4. For prohibitions

    The fourth use is the opposite of the third use. If we tell others to do something, then there are times when we also forbid other people to do something.

    To express it, we use the auxiliary "do" followed by "not" and then V1/be. We can also shorten it to "don't" + V1/be.

  • Don't be lazy!
  • Do not enter my room!
  • Don't close your book!

5. For fixed arrangements

    Furthermore, this type of tense is used to express events that are certain to occur. The statement conveyed implies that something has a high probability of happening.

    It can also be used to say things that have been well planned. The plan was certain to happen if there was nothing to cancel it.

  • I arrive at my home around 9 AM.
  • Our holiday starts on the 1st of April.

How to Form Verb in Simple Present?

    The form of the verb in this type of tense depends on the subject used in the sentence. 

1. Plural subject

    If we use plural subject, we use the first form of the verb or commonly known as the bare infinitive. In other words, a verb without any affixes. The plural subject, like I, you, we, they, people name, and the others. 

    Besides that, we use to be present in nominal sentences. We use to be "am" for the subject "I" and to be "are" for the other plural subjects.

2. Singular subject

    If the singular subject is used, then there is a change in the form of the verb. The change in the form of the verb occurs by adding s/es/ies at the end of the word.
  • For verbs ending in -sh, -ch, -s, -z, -x, use the additional -es ending.
  • For verbs ending in a consonant, use the additional -s ending.
  • For verbs ending in consonant + y, use the additional -s ending.
  • For verbs ending in vocal + y, use the additional -ies ending.
  • For verbs ending in vocal, use the additional -s/-es ending.
  • watch -> watches, wash -> washes, fix -> fixes
  • want -> wants
  • study -> studies
  • buy -> buys
  • love -> loves
    For nominal sentences, we use to be "is" for this type of subject.

How to Use to be in Simple Present?

    There are three to be used in this nominal tense sentence, namely is, am, and are.
  • am only for the subject I
  • is for singular subject
  • are for plural subject
    Besides that, there are do/does that are used for negative sentences and interrogative sentences. 
  • We add "not" after do/does in negative sentences.
  • do/do not/don't for plural subject
  • does/does not/doesn't for singular subject

What is the formula of the simple present tense?

    If we talk about a type of tense, we have to know the way to build a sentence with it. We have to know the pattern or the formula.

    It can help us in building sentences with this type of tense easily and correctly. There are two kinds of patterns, for verbal sentences, and for nominal sentences.

This is the formula and the pattern to build a sentence with this type of tense.

1. How to build a simple present positive

    It's also called an affirmative sentence. We use V1 or infinitive to build a verbal sentence.
  • S + V1/V1(s/es/ies) + O/C
    For nominal sentences, we use to be present, like am, are, is, then it followed by noun or adjective or adverb.
  • S + is/am/are + ANA
  • The boy tries to make a perfect dish for the competition.
  • Every student is in the classroom to receive the lesson.
  • Somebody calls me loudly in this crowded street.

2. How to build a simple present negative

    Negative sentences, in general, can be marked by the use of negative words, the most frequently used is not. There are other negative words, like hardly, never, no-, etc. 

    We use auxiliary "do/does" that are followed by not then V1. We can also shorten it into don't/doesn't. That's for verbal sentences. 
  • S + do/does + not + V1 + O/C
    For the nominal sentences, we use to be present that followed by not than noun or adjective or adverb.
  • S + is/am/are + not + A/N/A
  • She doesn't know my name, but she calls me.
  • Jack and me aren't together to school every day.
  • I am not ready for the mid-test today.

3. How to ask in a simple present

    For asking a question in a sentence with this type of sentence, there are two kinds of patterns. First,    for the yes/no question.

    We use an auxiliary do/does at the beginning of a sentence then it's followed by the subject.
  • Do/Does + S + V1 + O/C + ?
  • Is/Am/Are + S + A/N/A + ?
    The other questions are using question words, like what, where, how, when, etc.
  • QW + do/does + S + V1 + O/C + ?
  • QW + is/am/are + S + A/N/A + ?

  • Do you know where Diana's house is?
  • How many books do we need for our project?
  • With whom does she go to school every day?
  • Where do you study every night?

The Time Signal For Simple Present

    Sometimes, in a sentence, there is an adverb that shows us when the thing happens. We can know the time that is used in the sentence.

    In the other words, the time signal can be a feature or marker of the use of this type of tense. This is the time signal that is generally used for this type of tense.
  • Always 
  • Usually
  • Generally
  • Seldom 
  • Nowadays
  • Ever
  • As a rule
  • Frequently
  • Commonly
  • Normally
  • Every ...
  • Each ...
  • Sometimes 
  • Often
  • Never 
  • Once ... 
  • Twice ...
  • Three/four/etc times
  • I always go to school at 6 AM every day.
  • Generally, my mother isn't at the house at this time.
  • Sometimes, I need help with my job.


    Present simple is a type of tense that use to express a habitual thing, a general truth, etc. In this type of sentence, V1 or infinitive is used for a verbal sentence. 

    For nominal sentences, we use to be present, like is, am, and are. We can also identify the present simple from the use of auxiliary do or does, as well as the time signal used. 

    I hope you can enjoy my article and I hope you can enjoy this article. Hopefully, what I provide is useful for all of us. That's the article about What is Simple Present Tense and How to Use It?
Syahrul R
Syahrul R bachelor degree