Simple Present

What are Simple Present verbs?

Simple present verbs explain actions that occur habitually, regularly, or continually. They are used when talking about things that are true in general or are happening now. Verbs in the simple present include words like ‘write’, ‘eat’, and ‘sleep’.

One of the primary indicators of the simple present is the addition of the suffix -s or -es to the verb when speaking in the third person singular (he/she/it). For example, ‘he writes’ is simple present while ‘he wrote’ would be simple past.

Additionally, the simple present can also include auxiliary verbs such as ‘do not’ and ‘does not’. Knowing how to spot and fully understand simple present verbs is an important part of learning English grammar.

Simple Present Rules

Learning these four critical rules when using the simple present tense will help communication become clearer and easier.

ConjugationsBe aware that many verbs have unique simple present conjugations and must be memorized separately from the regular form – for example, the verb ‘to go’ becomes ‘goes’ instead of ‘go’.
Habitual actionsRemember that simple present sentences indicate habitual actions or those which occur regularly in the present time.
DescriptionsSimple present adjectives emphasize universal truths like wide-spread statements of fact while simple present adverbs can be used to describe an action taking place beyond a single instance.
Auxiliary verbSimple present questions use an auxiliary verb alongside the main verb – such as ‘do’, ‘am’, or ‘are’ – when forming a question.
Simple Present Rules and Explanation Table
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Examples of Simple Present Verbs

The simple present tense is one of the fundamental building blocks of English. In simple terms, it describes an action that happens regularly or a state that is true in the present moment. To use simple present correctly and effectively, it’s helpful to understand some examples of verbs in this tense. Common simple present verbs include:

  • Walk
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Work
  • Read
  • Play

These typically describe simple activities that happen on a regular basis. Phrasal verbs such as ‘check out’ or ‘take care’ also fall under simple present; these are two-part verbs that can be broken into their individual elements. Finally, many modals such as ‘can,’ ‘should,’ and ‘must’ take simple present form as well. With so many versatile options available, the simple present gives speakers ample opportunity to communicate without being overly complicated.

Simple Present Exercises with Answers


  • She _ a book every day
  • The sun _ in the east
  • My dog _ at strangers
  • I _ breakfast each morning
  • He _ to school five days a week


  • She reads a book every day
  • The sun rises in the east
  • My dog barks at strangers
  • I eat breakfast each morning
  • He goes to school five days a week

Simple Present Verbs List

To eatTypically occurs multiple times throughout the day for sustenance.
To thinkAn individual’s thought process.
To speakCommonly used when communicating.
To doubtA way of saying something is unsure
To leaveUsed to indicate impermanence
To goSuggests expectations or plans.
To writeTo describe an action of recording things down.
Simple Present Verbs List Table
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Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

Learning English as a second language can be challenging, but it is also immensely rewarding. One simple way to reinforce your learning is to practice simple present-tense conversations in both written and spoken forms.

Practising simple present-tense sentence structures will help you become familiar with how sentences flow in English and increase your overall fluency. Developing simple habits such as writing or saying one simple present sentence each day can help build your grammar and vocabulary muscles over time, allowing you to communicate more naturally in English.

With regular dedication, you can gain confidence in the language and expand into more complex tenses and structures.

Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand simple past and simple or base form.

Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

One of the most common mistakes English learners make is confusion with simple present forms. Many students will use simple present to refer to a single action in the past instead of simple past. A simple example of this would be, “I goed to the store”: this sentence should be “I went to the store.” Using simple past correctly is critical as it helps demonstrate a storyline or action in the past which needs to be conveyed accurately. There are also subtle differences between simple past and simple present such as when asking questions or using third person singular which English learners must know if they expect to progress their understanding of English.

Common Mistakes:

1. Incorrect Tense

Why it Happens

Not having a firm grasp on correct tense usage can confuse your statements. This can cause you to use the wrong verbs and misconstrue your message.

Correct Use

When speaking in the present simple tense, you would use a verb that reflects current habits and routines. Keep tense in mind when selecting your verbs.

2. Lack of Compounds

Why it Happens

The first mistake is leaving out verbs when needed. Failing to use these in phrases can lead others to misinterpret what you are trying to express.

Correct Use

Verbs join two words to actions – for example, ‘to eat something’ or  ‘I am crossing the street’.

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3. Inconsistency

Why it Happens

People forget how they described something before and change the context in a contradictory manner. This confuses the reader.

Correct Use

Be sure that your verbs remain consistent throughout your writing. There should be no sudden shifts from ‘happen’ to ‘finish’ unless there was a clear shift in the thing being described.

4. Incorrect Usage

Why it Happens

You don’t know which verbs to use, so you use too many and it confuses the statement.

Correct Use

Using too many verbs can make your writing sound monotonous and can also lead to viewers losing interest. Therefore it is important to focus on expressing yourself clearly and effectively with them.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:

It’s easy to make simple mistakes when it comes to using simple present and other tenses in English.

  • The best way to stay on top of grammar and usage is to set aside time for regular practice.
  • Making simple exercises a part of your daily schedule can help keep you from making those pesky little errors.
  • Additionally, reading good quality writing can be a great source of inspiration. By immersing yourself in interesting materials, you are likely to pick up on usage tips from authors and other writers that will serve as useful reminders later on.
  • Finally, don’t forget the importance of having a trusted friend or mentor who can provide constructive feedback and review—a second eye can often find errors that you may have overlooked!
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Learning Simple Present Strategies and Best Practices

Learning simple present tense can be a great asset while writing and speaking. It allows one to communicate simple facts, actions and/or occurrences in simple, concise language. To become proficient in the simple present simple, it is important to understand its different forms and how they apply to everyday life.

There are a few best practices that can help learners become more confident in their understanding of the simple present; these include studying straightforward examples of the simple present in everyday conversations, practising forming sentences with simple present, immersing oneself in the target language to gain an instinctive understanding of simple present tense and also consciously incorporating simple present statements into writing or speech without hesitation. Additionally, keep reading for more useful tips:

Tip 1: Study a List

Why it helps

Learning the various forms and using them properly in speaking and writing is easier than it seems with daily practice. A list can simplify this process and make it seem less daunting.

Daily Life Example

The best way to learn to use verbs correctly is to study a list of verbs and their usages, and then practice writing sentences with them.

Tip 2: Practice Reading

Why it helps

Exposing yourself to verbs hidden between other words can help you identify them faster and with more accuracy.

Daily Life Example

To ensure that you understand how frequently a type of verb should be used it’s important to practice reading with them as well, so the meanings become clear. So keep a book of your choice on hand and highlight every verb you come across.

Tip 3: Everyday Conversations

Why it helps

By applying the verbs exercise to everyday conversations, you’ll find these words easy to remember and use in the near future.

Daily Life Example

Take your time when speaking to people. Take note of the verbs they use, and try and repeat them back in different contexts. You can also do this from the comfort of your home by recording yourself or using an AI assistant.

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Simple Present Verbs Frequently Asked Questions

The simple present is a verb tense that expresses always-true facts and habits and routines that recur regularly in the present. It is simple because it has no auxiliary verbs and involves only the base form of the verb.

This simple present is used to talk about things that have been happening for some time, typical activities or situations, universal truths, scheduled events in the future and those which will occur one after another – for example, when using words such as ‘first’, ‘also’ or ‘then’.

To recognize simple present correctly in a sentence, look for an action verb being used without an s at the end; usually with either just the subject or a subject along with other people or things.

The simple present is a grammar structure intended to describe facts and habitual actions. It is called the simple present because it typically requires the use of simple-form verbs, as well as other simple words and phrases, such as adverbs of frequency. This makes it simpler and easier to format and read than more complicated forms of grammar.

In fact, simple present is often used by students when they’re just learning English or another language since its simple construction makes it easier to understand.

Additionally, simple present is commonly used in both written and spoken English due to its simple structure and efficient way of brevity conveyance.

Teaching simple present can seem simple, but a few overarching principles need to be kept in mind. One of the most important aspects is for students to understand the role this tense plays in conveying current and habitual activities in both spoken and written English.

To this end, it can be helpful to begin by using simple visuals or stories to demonstrate how simple present – which includes verbs such as ‘am,’ ‘is,’ ‘are,’ and ‘do’ – reflects our current states and habits. Once comprehension has been established, teachers can move onto drills and practice exercises to help students expand their understanding.

To form simple present tense verbs, you simply need to add either ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the end of the verb if it is a third-person singular subject (he/she/it), otherwise, all you need to do is use the base form of the verb with no additions or changes. For example, the sentence ‘I eat lunch every day’ conjugates using a simple present since it describes an everyday action with a regular verb.

The simple present formula makes conjugation simple, so it’s easy to communicate your ideas in the present tense!

Other forms of the present tense include present progressive, present perfect and present perfect progressive.

Present progressive tense is used to discuss actions or events that are in progress at the time of speaking, or that will happen in the near future. The present perfect tense is usually used when discussing events from an unspecified point in the past up until the current moment.

Lastly, the present perfect progressive is a combination of both; it expresses a duration of action from some point in the past up until the present moment.

With grammar practice, you can learn all grammatical terms to assist you with words. For instance, there are many different types of modifications for verbs. Some other types of verbs include irregular verbs, nonstative verbs, link verbs, negative verbs, stative verbs, modal verbs, copula verbs, stem-changing verbs, and English verbs.

The type of sentence and context will determine which verb you will use, whether it be negative forms, temporary actions, affirmative actions, future events, basic forms, current actions, or any other aspect of grammar. 

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