Present Simple Tense - Rules and Examples | English Grammar


The word Tense is a term in English grammar and refers to a form of the verb that indicates time. Time is a universal, non-linguistic concept with three divisions - Past, Present and Future; by tense, we understand the correspondence between the form of the verb and our concept of time. When making a statement it is essential to indicate whether a situation exists now, existed in the past or is likely to exist in the future.

The simple present tense is used to talk about a repeated action or a general truth. It is normal to use the simple present to talk about something in the present, although it can also be used to talk about the future. The simple present is also used to talk about facts (for example, London is the capital of England).

This post will take you through the rules and examples of Present Simple Tense in English grammar.

Rules and Examples of Present Simple Tense in English Grammar

✅ Rule 1

This tense is used to express an action that takes or is actually taking place at the present time; as,
  • He drives his car.

✅ Rule 2

To express a habitual action; as,
  • He drinks tea every morning.
  • My watch keeps good time.

✅ Rule 3

A universal truth; as,
  • The sun rises in the east
  • Slow and steady wins the race.

✅ Rule 4

In exclamatory sentences beginning with here and there to express what is actually taking place in the present.
  • Here comes the bus!
  • There she goes!

✅ Rule 5

In a vivid narrative, as a substitute for the simple past; as,
  • Immediately the sultan hurries to his capital.
  • Sohrab now rushes forward and deals a heavy blow to Rustam.

✅ Rule 6

To express a future event that is part of a fixed timetable or fixed programme; as,
  • The match starts at 9 o’clock.
  • The train leaves at 5:20.

✅ Rule 7

Discussing what happens in a book, play or film; as,
  • In Lagaan Amir Khan plays a central character.

✅ Rule 8

Simple present tense is also used to talk about a physical feeling that is affecting you or someone else; as,
  • I feel heavy.
  • His head aches.
But while physical perceptions such as hearing and seeing usually the modal can be is used; as,
  • I can hear it.
  • I can smell the food.
What is present, provided that present time is implied by the context; as,
  • I understand what you say.

✅ Rule 9

Used in Commentaries While describing an event such as a sports match or a ceremony that is happening at the time; as,
  • Prasad balls to Lara.
  • Sachin takes a run.

✅ Rule 10

Used in reporting: Reporting verbs such as hear or tell we can report what
someone said at some point in the recent past by using simple present; as,
  • I hear he is eating.

✅ Rule 11

The simple present tense is often used with adverbs or adverb phrases such as; always, never, occasionally, often, sometimes, usually, every week, on Mondays, twice a year etc.; as,
  • How often do you wash your hair?
  • It rains in winter.
Or with time clauses expressing routine or habitual actions whenever and when (= whenever) are particularly useful; as,
  • Whenever it rains the roof leaks.

✅ Rule 12

It must be used instead of the present continuous with verbs which cannot be used in the continuous form, e.g. Love, see, believe, etc. So that we can say; as,
  • I love you but not I am loving you.

✅ Rule 13

It is used in conditional sentences; as,
  • If I see Ann, I will ask her.
  • Unless you take the brake off, the car won’t move.

✅ Affirmative Sentences

➤ He/She/It/singular noun + verb (Ist form) + s/es + ...
➤ I/We/You/They/plural noun + verb (Ist form) + ...
  • He reads a book daily.
  • Geeta plays football in the evening.
  • I read a book daily.
  • They play football in the evening.

✅ Negative Sentences

➤ He/She/It/singular noun + does not + verb (Ist form) + ...
➤ I/We/You/They/plural noun + do not + verb (Ist form) + ...
  • He does not read a book.
  • You do not play football.
  • Tanu does not tell a lie.
  • The boys do not go there.

✅ Interrogative Sentences

➤ Do + subject + verb (Ist form) + ... ?
➤ Does + subject + verb (Ist form) + ... ?
➤ Q.W. + do/does + subject + verb (Ist form) + ... ?
  • Does he live in Alwar?
  • Do you know Mohan?
  • Where does Geeta go daily?
  • Why do you come late?

✅ Interrogative-Nagative Sentences

➤ Does + subject + not + verb (Ist form) + ...?
➤ Do + subject + not + verb (Ist form) + ...?
  • Do you not read your book daily?
  • Does he not help the poor?
  • Do they not love their country?
  • Does Sohan not take bath daily?
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