ReadingESL stories and readings in English for ESL learners


 

                                               Present Simple Verb Tense

 

Form (what it looks like):

 

Affirmative statements Negative statements   Questions
 Use the base form of the verb.  Add s the verb if the subject is he/she/it.  Use do as an auxillary (helping) verb except if the subject is he/she/it when you use does.   do/does + subject + verb
I water the flowers.
You
water the flowers.
She
waters the flowers.
He
waters the flowers.
The woman
waters the flowers.
Nadia
waters the flowers.

We
water the flowers.
They
water the flowers.
I do not water the flowers.
You do not water the flowers
She does not water the flowers.
He doesn't water the flowers.

We don't water the flowers.
They don't water the flowers.

do not = don't
does not = doesn't
a gardener using a hose to water flowers Do you water the flowers?
Yes, I do.
No, I don't.

Does she water the flowers?
Yes, she does.
No, she doesn't

Do they water the flowers?
Yes, they do.
No, they don't

 

NOTE: For most verbs in the third person singular (he/she/it) you just add s but there are some verbs where you add es.

When do you add s? or es ..... it depends on what letter the verb ends with.

If the verb ends with.... then.... example forms other verbs
ch or sh add es washing hands in a sink I wash my hands.
You wash your hands.

He washes his hands.
She
washes her hands.

We wash our hands.
Most people wash their hands.
catch
fetch
reach
scratch
watch

crash
fish
flash
swish
wish

s, x or z add es using a paint brush to mix red and white paint together I mix paint.
You mix paint.

He mixes paint.
She mixes paint.


We mix paint.
They mix paint.
fix
mix

cross
floss
miss
pass
toss

waltz
o add es the inside of a grocery store I go shopping on Saturdays.
You go shopping on Saturdays..

He goes shopping on Saturdays.
She
goes shopping on Saturdays.

We go shopping on Saturdays.
They go shopping on Saturdays.
do
vowel + y
(vowels are a,e,i,o,u)
just add s a baseball player sliding into a base
photo by Tony Burnett
I play baseball.
You play baseball.

He plays baseball.
She plays baseball.

We play baseball.
pay
pray
say
slay
stay
consonant + y

(consonants are the letters that aren't vowels)
add es drying hands with a pink towel I dry my hands.
You dry your hands.

He dries his hands.
She
dries her hands.

We dry our hands.
They dry their hands.
carry
cry
fly
hurry
study
try
all other letters just add s two women walking on a snowy sidewalk I walk to school.
You walk to school.

She walks to school.
He walks to school.


We walk to school.
They walk to school.
climb
wave
laugh
ski
crawl
scream
warn
shop
start
throw
except be and have be

Use the word is with the 3rd person singular.

more about be
a baby with it's wrist in it's mouth I am young.
You are young.

He is young.  He is a baby.
She is young.  She is a baby.
The baby is young.


We are young.
They are young.
 
  have

Use the word has with the 3rd person singular.
a sock with a hole in the toe so you can see the toe sticking out I have a hole in my sock.
You have a hole in your sock.

He has a hole in his sock.
She
has a hole in her sock.
My sock has a hole in it.

They have a hole in their sock.
 

 

Using the present simple tense:

1. to talk about habits and events that happen regularly

Toronto streetcar Canada Place in Vancouver wall clock
I work downtown. 
I
take the streetcar to work in the morning.
My girlfriend takes the streetcar too.

I live in Vancouver.
My brother lives in Edmonton.
I usually visit my brother at Christmas time.
What time does your class start?
Our class starts at 9 a.m.
We have a break from 10:15 to 10:30.

 

2. to talk about facts and information

a lawn ice cubes in a hand the CN tower
Grass is green.  It is not brown.
Grass grows in the spring and summer.
Water freezes at 0° C.  Ice is cold. The CN tower is the tallest building in Toronto. It is over 500 metres tall.  There are many tall buildings in Toronto.

 

3. for giving instructions

beating eggs with a whisk
'lightly beat eggs' by little blue hen, taken from flickr
adding a spoonful of sugar to a mug of coffee stairs
Example: recipes
First you
beat two eggs.
First,
beat two eggs.
Then you add a spoonful of sugar.
Then add a spoonful of sugar.
Example: giving directions
At the top of the stairs, turn left.
At the top of the stairs you turn left.
You turn left at the top of the stairs.

 

4. to talk about feelings and senses

sleeping on a couch a stubbed and bloody toe a cup of coffee
She is tired.   She feels tired. I have a sore toe.  I hurt my toe.
Your toe looks sore. 
That coffee smells great!
I think that coffee tastes good. 

 

5. to talk about scheduled or planned events in the future

people getting on a small airplane driving on a busy road plates full of food
Our flight leaves at noon tomorrow.
What time do we board the plane?
When does the bus arrive?
The bus arrives
in Toronto at 5 p.m.
Their dinner party starts at 6 p.m.

 

6. after when, if or whenever in time clauses. This is true when the main verb is in the present tense or the future tense.

a rainy day a boy wearing a blue hat people running across a street
When it rains, she uses her umbrellas.
(main verb, use, is in present tense)
Whenever it is cold outside, I wear a hat.
Whenever it's cold outside, I wear a hat.
(main verb, wear, is in present tense)
If he hurries, he won't be late.
(main verb, be, is in the future tense - will be)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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