Present Simple form

Present Simple introduction and form

The Present Simple is a verb tense which refers to general present time.

Tenses = a verb form which shows the time of an action or event:

Lives (present); are running (present); saw (past); will play (future)

Tenses are changes in verb form which give “signals” about time and duration of an action or event, and other information.

The simple present is simple in form, needing only one word in the affirmative, but not so simple in its meaning.


Go to English grammar lessons here

Go to English language and grammar exercises here

First let’s look at its form

The Simple Present Tense: Form


The verb BE has one form  in the Present Simple  and other verbs  have another.


I am
you are
he is
she is
it is
we are
you are

Other Verbs

We use the base form (short infinitive) of a verb (without “to”)

                                                 To live       to think           to study

I + base form                I live            I think                  I study
you + base form          You live     You think          You study
he + base form+s**    He lives     He thinks            He studies
she+ base form+s**    She lives     She thinks       She studies
it + base form+s**       It lives         It plays                It rains
we + base form              We live        We think             We study
they + base form          They live     They think       They study        

 Negative form of Present Simple

In the Simple Present tense there are differences when we use be or other verbs in the negative:


With the negative of BE we add the word “not” after am, are or is

I am not                           I am not American
you are not                    You are not tall
he is not                           He is not a footballer
she is not                         She is not 15 years old
it is not                             It is not expensive
we are not                       We are not happy
they are not                  They are not students


Contractions are often used for not:

am not, is not, and are not:

are not —> aren’t
is not —> isn’t

I am not —> I’m not*
you are not—> you’re not or you aren’t
he is not—> he’s not or he isn’t
she is not—> she’s not or she isn’t
it is not—> it’s not or it isn’t
we are not—> We’re not or we aren’t
they are not—> They’re not or they aren’t

Other Verbs

I do not+ base form                  I do not live in London
you do not + base form           You do not live in Boston
he does not + base form         He does not live in Los Angeles
she does not+ base form         She does not live in Sydney
it does not + base form            It does not live in a tree
we do not + base form              We do not live in Shanghai
they do not+ base form           They do not live in Bombay


Contractions are often used for do not and does not:

I do not—> I don’t
you do not—> you don’t

he does not—> he doesn’t
she does not—> she doesn’t
it does not—> it doesn’t
we do not—> we don’t
they do not—> they don’t

They are no contractions for do or does in standard written English. 


*There is no acceptable contraction for am not in standard English. You will sometimes hear people say *ain’t—this is considered unacceptable and “uneducated.”

Some people also use *ain’t not only for I, but also for you, he, she, it, and they.

** The final “s” on the verbs with he, she, it etc is added in three different ways

–   many verbs such as: like, run and see,   become likes, runs and sees

      verbs such as: miss, mix, wash and watch become misses, mixes, washes and watches

      verbs such as: study, try and worry become studies, tries and worries
You can compare it with the Present Continuous here

Go to FREE English language and grammar EXERCISES here

Back to Languagewell English lessons