Simple Present for Beginners

Read the following interview using the simple present tense

Mark: Hello, Can I ask you some questions for an interview?
Jennifer: Yes, I can answer some questions.
Mark: Thank you for taking the time. Now, first question: What do you do?
Jennifer: I work in a library. I’m a librarian.
Mark: Are you married?
Jennifer: Yes, I am.
Mark: What does your husband do?
Jennifer: He works as a policeman.
Mark: Do you usually have dinner together?
Jennifer: Yes, we do.
Mark: How often does your husband exercise?
Jennifer: He sometimes exercises four times a week. But, he usually exercises only twice a week.
Mark: Where do you like going on holiday?
Jennifer: We rarely go on holiday. However, we like going to the mountains if we can.
Mark: What type of books do you read?
Jennifer: I often read horror stories.
Mark: Thank you very much for answering my questions.
Jennifer: You’re welcome!

Take a look at the following conjugation chart. Notice from the above dialogue and following chart that the present simple is often used to describe what we do every day. We use verbs of frequency (always, sometimes, usually, etc.) which indicate a habit.

Examples Usage
Where do you work?
The store opens at 9 o’clock.
She lives in New York.
Permanent or long-lasting situations
I usually get up at 7 o’clock.
She doesn’t often go to the cinema.
When do they usually have lunch?
Regular habits and daily routines
The Earth revolves around the Sun.
What does ‘strange’ mean?
Water doesn’t boil at 20°.
I love walking around late at night during the summer.
She hates flying!
What do you like? I don’t want to live in Texas.
He doesn’t agree with you.
I think he is a wonderful student.
What do you consider your best accomplishment?
Opinions and states of mind
The plane leaves at 4 p.m.
When do courses begin this semester?
The train doesn’t arrive until 10.35.
Timetables and schedules
Common present time expressions include: usually, always, often, sometimes, on Saturdays, at weekends (on weekends US English), rarely, on occasion, never, seldom
In the positive form add an ‘s’ to the base form of the 3rd person singular. If the verb ends in -y preceded by a consonant, change the -y to -ies.

eat lunch at noon.
eats lunch
tries to have fun.
at noon.
Conjugate the helping verb ‘do’ + not (don’t and doesn’t) + the base form of the verb to make negatives.

don’t leave at noon.
doesn’t leave at noon.
Conjugate the helping verb ‘do’ (do or does) + the base form of the verb in question forms.

Do I
leave at noon?
Does He
leave at noon?

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