Present Simple Tense In English Grammar | Beginner English Lessons (Basic Grammar)

Lesson summary

Don't be confused by basic grammar anymore! In today's lesson you will learn about the present simple tense.

Video transcript

Can we use the present simple tense to talk about the future? Let’s find out. 

 

What’s up guys?  My name is Shane and today we are talking about the present simple tense in English.  The present simple tense is very important because you can use it for many reasons.  You can even use it to talk about the future which confuses many English learners. 

 

But don’t worry because by the end of the video you will understand what the present simple tense means and when and how to use it. Also make sure you watch until the end of the video because there will be a quiz to test your understanding. Okay, let’s get started.

 

Structure

Let’s have a look at an example of a present simple sentence. I live in Australia. What’s the structure? How do we make it?

 

We have I, the subject. Live, the verb and Australia, the object. And you can see here that with the verb, live, it’s a present tense verb.  For example, live, eat, walk, drink. We don’t use ing verbs and we don’t use past tense verbs with the present simple.

 

And you can see here, with the verb, there is no s. we don’t need an s with the verb for the following subjects. I, I live. They, they live. We, we live.

 

Or when we are talking about 2 or more nouns or plural nouns. For example: john and Paul. This is 2 people so we say john and Paul live in Australia. People is 2 or more so we say people live in Australia. We don’t need an s with the verb.

 

So for these pronouns and nouns we don’t need an s. but we need an s for these pronouns and nouns. He, he lives. She, she lives. It, it lives. Or for singular nouns or for one thing. John lives.  John is 1 person so we need the s. John lives. The person lives, the person is 1. So we need to have the s. the person lives.

 

So just remember after singular nouns, we need to have an s on the ver. This is very important and it will help you sound like a native speaker. 

 

What about negatives? I live in Australia. What if we want to say no, not live in Australia?  We can say, I don’t live in Australia. 

 

When we have the following, we use don’t to make a negative.  I, I don’t. They, they don’t. We, we don’t. And with 2 or more nouns or with plural nouns. John and Paul don’t.  The people don’t. Because people is two or more people.

 

What about singular subjects? How can we make a negative? We can say he, he doesn’t.  She, she doesn’t.  It, it doesn’t.  John, john is one person. John doesn’t. The person, 1 person, the person doesn’t. 

 

So just remember with singular nouns, with say doesn’t. And with plural nouns and I, we say don’t. 

 

What about if we want to make a question?  I live in Australia. What’s the question? We can say do you live in Australia? Do you live in Australia?  We use do with the following subjects. They, do they live in Australia?  We. Do we live in Australia? 

 

And with plural nouns or 2 or more nouns. John and Paul. Do John and Paul live in Australia?  The people. Do the people live in Australia?  If you find this hard to remember, you can think about the negative. 

 

I don’t live in Australia. I do not live in Australia.  So when we make the question, we use do.  Because the negative is do.  I do not live in Australia. 

 

So the question is do you live in Australia?  What about singular subjects like he, she, it?  What was the negative? Do you remember?  He doesn’t live in Australia.  He does not live in Australia.  So the question is does he live in Australia? Does he live in Australia? She?  Does she live in Australia?  It? Does it live in Australia? 

 

And for singular nouns, you also use does. John. Does john live in Australia?  The person? Does the person live in Australia? So just remember if you’re not sure what the question is, just think about the negative.  He does not live in Australia.  So the question is: does he live in Australia? They do not live in Australia. So the question is: do they live in Australia?

 

Meaning

The present simple tense has 5 main uses.  So let’s have a look at the first use. I go to the gym every week.

 

Did I do this in the past? Yes. Will I do it in the future? Yes.

 

Do I do it often? Is it something that I do all the time? Yes it is.

 

So this is the first use of the present simple tense. We use it to talk about habits, routines, things that you do all the time.

 

Some further examples are: He plays sport. This means he does it all the time. He did it in the past. He will do it in the future. And he does it very often, it’s his habit. It’s a routine.

 

And note how we used s with the verb. He plays sport.  He plays sport.

 

Let’s look at the second use for the present simple tense. I live in Australia. When did this start? In the past.

 

Is it still happening now? Yes it is.

 

This is a permanent situation. It started in the past and it still hasn’t changed. And it’s probably not going to change for a long time into the future.

 

And it’s different to the first use of the present simple because the first use we talked about something we do many times. 

 

For example, I go to the gym. I go, I come back. I go, I come back. I do it many many times.

 

But this example: I live in Australia It’s not something you do many times. It started in the past and it has stayed the same.  Nothing has changed. It’s not something that you start doing, stop doing, start doing, stop doing.

 

Okay, let’s look at another example. He works in London. He works in London. And also note, we use the S here. He works in London.

 

This situation is unchanging. It’s permanent.  He started in working in London in the past and he’s still working in London now. It’s probably not going to change. And it’s probably going to be permanent. 

 

And the third main use for the present simple is to talk about truths.  Things that are true. Things that are facts. 

 

For example, Sydney is a big city.  Sydney is a big city.  This is a fact. This is true. 

 

And another example: California is an America.  California is an America. This is a fact. We cannot change it. We cannot pick up California and move it to another state.

 

And let’s look at the fourth use of the present simple. Go straight, then turn left, then go straight for 200 meters. What am I doing? I am giving instructions. I am giving orders.

 

So with the present simple, you can also use it for instructions and for orders.

 

First, you crack the eggs.  Then, you put the eggs in the bowl.  And then after that, you whisk them.

 

This is another example of how we can use the present simple.  We can use it to give cooking instructions.

 

So whenever you read instructions in a book or on a website, they will normally be in the present simple.

 

And just remember, when you’re giving instructions, use the present tense verb.

 

Don’t use ing, don’t use a past tense verb. You should use the present tense verb.

 

And the last use is where present simple gets really interesting.  Have a look at this sentence: our train leaves tomorrow at 11am. What tense am I using? I’m using the present simple tense, right?

 

But what am I talking about? The past, present or the future? The future.

 

And one more, but this time a question.  What time do you finish work tomorrow?  Once again, present simple tense but talking about the future because I’ve used the word tomorrow.

 

It’s actually very common to use the present simple to talk about the future.

 

For example, what time does the movie start? It starts at 9pm. What time do you leave tomorrow?   I leave at 11am.

 

Just remember, the present simple tense is not just used to talk about facts and habits and routines.  It can be also used to talk about the future. 

 

Quiz

We have learned about the present simple so now let’s have a quick quiz to test your understanding.  I will show you some words and I want you to make a present simple tense. 

 

Number 1. He go work every day.  He go work every day.  The correct should be he goes to work every day.  Remember, when we have he, we have to have an s on the end of the verb.

 

Number 2. Time your train leave? Time your train leave? A question.  The correct answer is: what time does your train leave? What time does your train leave? Remember, with singular nouns, we normally use does for the question.  Does he? Does he? Does the train?

 

Number 3. I not think you right. I not think you right.  The correct answer is: I don’t think you’re right. I don’t think you’re right. Remember, with negatives and I, we say do not.  I don’t think. I don’t live. I don’t eat. 

 

Question 4. You watch tv a lot? Question.  You watch tv a lot? Question.  The correct answer is do you watch tv a lot?  Do you? Remember, with you and a question we say do you? Do you?

 

Question 5.  He speak English.  Question mark.  He speak English. Question mark.  The correct answer is does he speak English?  Does he speak English?  Remember, with the question and he, we say does. Does he? Does she? Does it?

 

And the last question.  He leave tomorrow 11am.  He leave tomorrow 11am.  The correct answer is he leaves tomorrow at 11am. Remember we need to have an s with the verb because the subject is singular.  He leaves.  And also remember that the present simple can be used to talk about the future.

 

Now I am going to ask you 3 questions and I want you to write full sentence answers in the comments down below. 

 

Number 1. What do you usually eat for breakfast?  What do you usually eat for breakfast? 

 

Number 2. Where do you live? Where do you live? 

 

And number 3. How many hours per week do you study English?  How many hours per week do you study English?  So comment your answers down below and I will check them for you. 

 

And that is the end of the lesson today. If you’re interested in learning more grammar,. You can check out this video right here. And if you haven’t subscribed already, subscribe right now so you don’t miss any video that can help you understand English like a native speaker. If you learned something, please hit like and share this with your friends so they can understand the present simple tense as well. And follow me on Instagram for daily quizzes and weekly lessons, videos and much much more. And I will see you in the next video.  How can we make that? Do .. let’s look at some more examples  ..

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