Some of my students and business clients in Japan have trouble using English verbs in the simple present tense. I created this blog post as an easy guide to explain how we use verbs in the simple present form! Learn the grammar step by stepwith lots of natural examples.
Things that happen regularly, often or are true in general
①We use the simple present tense to talk about things that happen regularly, often or are true in general.
Please look at the following examples of verbs in the simple present tense.
● “I wake up at 7:00 am every day.” → I always wake up at 7:00, I do it regularly.
●“This bus stops at Tokyo station.” → The bus follows a route (path) and regularly stops at Tokyo station.
●“It rains a lot in April.” → This is generally true.
●“We go camping every summer.” → This is a regular event. It happens every summer.
●“Dave teaches English.” → This is my job so I do it regularly, I do it often.
② The simple present tense is used with questions starting with DO and DOES:
●“Does this bus go to Tokyo station?” → Go is the simple present tense.
●“Do you want to get a coffee?” → Get is the simple present tense.
③ The simple present tense is also used with negative sentences using DON’T and DOESN’T:
●“I don’t drink coffee after 3 pm. It keeps me up.” → Drink is the simple present tense.
●“Many of my students don’t like to study grammar. I try to make it interesting with images and stories.” → Like is the simple present tense.
Add S or ES
Sentences with he, she, and it as the subject will add s/es to the end of the verb.
●“She plays the drums.”
●“Jacob watches baseball every Monday at the park.”
*proper names like Jacob, Christine etc. follow the he/she rule*
●“My car (it) sounds strange. I will take it to the garage.”
The subjects I, you, they and we do not need an s/es.
●“I play the drums.”
●“They watch baseball every Monday at the park.”
●“You sound strange. Do you have a sore throat?”
3rd person singular
For the 3rd person singular – He, She, It– the following verbs are written with ES
➼Verbs ending with ss
miss – misses – “Don’t pass to Kyle, he misses every time!”
kiss – kisses – “My Mom kisses my baby brother every night before he goes to sleep.”
➼Verbs ending with o
do – does
A: “My friend always draws funny pictures in his notebook.”
B: “My brother does that too.”
go – goes – “My Mom kisses my baby brother every night before he goes to sleep.”
➼Verbs ending with sh or ch
brush – brushes – “Jenny brushes her teeth for 20 minutes every night before bed.”
match – matches – “This tie is perfect! It matches my shirt.”
➼Verbs ending with x
fix – fixes – “Alex fixes the computers in his office.”
➼Verbs ending with y – The y will change to an i before adding es
fly – flies – “A bat flies through the night sky.”
try – tries – “Howard is not the best player on the team, but he tries hard.”
More examples of the simple present tense
“Martin speaks Japanese very well.”
“I work 6 days a week.” “Karen works 25 days a month.”
“Do you know what time it is?
“Does Arnold Schwarzenegger live in LA?”
“I don’t know what time it is. I didn’t wear my watch today.”