Learning the simple present tense

The simple present tense is perhaps the first tense form ESL students learn. While learning this tense form, it is always a good idea to start with sentences using a form of the verb be.

Examples are given below.

  • She is an architect.
  • They are excited about the picnic.
  • I am happy with my performance.
  • I am a teacher.
  • Rahul is my friend.

Introducing the Present Simple

The simple present tense is used to talk about things that happen all the time. For example, this is the tense form used to talk about your daily routines. Start learning simple present tense by stating everything that you do on a regular basis.

  • I get up at 6 am.
  • I have my breakfast at 8 am.
  • I go to school by bus.
  • I get ready for school by 8 am.
  • I take a short nap in the afternoon.
  • I go to bed at 10 pm.
  • I live in Maharashtra.
  • I am a student.

Once you have learned to recognize the simple present tense forms, try to form questions.

  • When do you get up? I get up at 6 am.
  • When do I have breakfast? I have breakfast at 8 am.
  • How do I go to school? I go to school by bus.
  • What do I do in the afternoon? I take a short nap in the afternoon.
  • Where do you live? I live in Maharashtra.

The biggest problem that students face while learning the simple present tense is the difficulty in using the third person singular. The simple present tense differs from other tenses in that it has the marker –s in the third person singular. This can confuse many students.

Study the examples given below.

  • I teach at a government school.
  • He teaches at a private school.
  • She earns a living by writing.
  • Suman works for a multinational company.

You may have observed that the verb ends in –s when the subject is a singular noun or pronoun.