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Overview of Present Tense



This is one of the most common and important English verb tenses. So, it is important to know it well.

We use the simple present tense to talk about things in general. Let's look at a few ways that we use the present tense. Remember that we do not use the simple present tense for things that are happening right now. If something is happening right now, then we use the present continuous.

1. We use it for things that happen all the time or repeatedly. And things that are usually true.
  • Doctors help sick people.
  • Dogs like meat.
  • The Sun does not go around the Earth. The Earth goes around the sun.
  • The restaurant opens at 9 am and closes at 10 pm.
  • The sun is big and hot.
  • He is an artist.
  • The house is not blue. It is yellow.
  • Kittens are cute.
  • What does a computer programmer do?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • Do apples grow on trees?
Note: The word "is", "am", and "are" come from the verb "to be". We will study this more in the next lesson.

2. We use simple present tense to talk about how often or when we do something. So, you can use it to talk about habits, routines, or events.
  • I wake up at 7 am every morning.
  • She exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • They drink coffee every morning.
  • Every night, they eat dinner together.
  • The dog sleeps on the sofa during the day.
  • She goes to her parent's home once a year.
  • The World Cup happens every 4 years.
We often use adverbs of frequency with the present tense.
  • I always stretch in the morning.
  • Sometimes, we don't eat lunch because we are so busy.
  • They usually run together in the park on Saturday.
  • I rarely drink alcohol.
  • Mark never eats alone.
3. We use it to talk about things that do not change often like dreams, emotions, wishes or facts about your life.
  • I like ice cream.
  • She loves her family.
  • They work in London.
  • Chris lives in Tokyo.
  • I want to visit India.
4. We use the simple present tense in English to give instructions or directions. And we use to ask for help or a favor.
  • Sit down, please.
  • Go away!
  • Go down the street and then turn left.
  • Can you open the door for me?
  • Would you please give me the salt?
5. We use present tense to talk about plans or events that have already been decided in the present or in the future.
  • My friend arrives at 6 pm.
  • The meeting is at 12 pm.
  • The concert starts in one hour.
  • They leave work at 6 pm every day.
6. The present tense is also used with some time conjunctions. Like above these usually talk about general things, habits, routines, etc.
  • After I exercise, I am tired.
  • When he works, he doesn't talk.
  • He gets angry when he doesn't eat.
  • The dog sleeps when nobody is home.
  • I watch TV while my sister studies.
Sometimes the other part of the sentence will be in the future test.
  • When you come, I will help you.
  • After you finish, we will go.
There are many ways to use the present tense. If you speak and study English consistently, then it will become very easy for you. This lesson was an overview of the present tense. In the next lessons, we will look at the present tense in more detail. So, if you think that you do not know the simple present tense well, then go to the next lessons.

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