icon  icon icon

Mobile

The Present Simple Tense

The simple present tense is used in English for the following purposes:

- Repeated actions
- Simple statements of fact
- World truths
- With verbs of the senses and mental processes
- In jokes and story telling
- To refer to the future

How to form the present simple

Repeated actions

The present simple tense is very often used with adverbs of repeated time. Look at these examples (the adverbs are shown in bold):

Simple statements of fact

When we want to state a fact or ask a question without any time reference, we use the present simple tense.

World truths

Statements about rules of nature and the way the world is are in the present simple tense.

Verbs of the senses and mental processes

The present simple tense is used for many verbs of thinking, feeling and sensing. The most common words are:

likelovepreferknowunderstand
hateneedwantbelieveremember
seeheartastesmelllook

In jokes, anecdotes and film or book summaries

The present simple tense is very often used in jokes and when telling a story to make the joke or story seem more immediate. This use of the present tense is sometimes called the graphic present.

The present simple is also used to retell what happens in a book or film.

To refer to the future

The present simple is often used to refer to future events that are scheduled (and outside of our control).

Do a quiz on this grammar topic.


Frankfurt International School: Art and artists. (Click to see at full size.)