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Simple Present Tense


We have studied in the topic,  ‘Sentences  that the general pattern of a  sentence is  ‘S + V + O’.  In this pattern the Verb is supposed to be in any tense according to  the time of the actions. That is , the auxiliaries that help the main verb may be in any tense.

As, we are  studying  the  ‘Simple Present tense’/ ‘Present Indefinite’ here,  the auxiliaries that are used here should only be that of  simple present tense,  that is  ‘do’ and ‘does’ , as  seen in the topic  Auxiliary verbs/ helping Verbs .  Keeping these facts in our mind,   we can make the pattern of simple present tense, as

‘S + do/does + V + O’

By adding the auxiliary verbs  ‘do/does’  to the main verb,  we  are limiting or confining the verb in  simple present tense.   Here, the auxiliaries ‘do’ and ‘does’ are used with the verb,  according to  the ‘numbers’ of the subject,  that is ‘singular’  and ‘plural’,   as mentioned in the topic ‘the Concord‘.


  • If the subject is ‘singular’,   the singular auxiliary verb ‘does’ is used with the ‘main verb’.  Then  the verb will further  end  with  ‘s’ or  ‘es or  ‘ies’ and,  will be changed as  ‘a verb with simple present tense form’.

Eg: Tom ‘plays’ Tennis.

Here,  in the example,   we can see that the subject  ‘Tom’ is  ‘one’ , in number.   So we can assure  that the subject  ‘Tom’  is singular.   So,  the singular auxiliary verb of simple present  ‘does‘  is used with the verb  ‘play’  according to  ‘the subject verb agreement’ , and  finally the verb  ‘play’  becomes ‘ plays’  by ending with  ‘ s ‘,   as shown below,

‘does’  +  ‘play’  =  ‘plays‘,

Eg: Peter ‘studies’ English

Here also,  as the subject  ‘Peter’  is ‘one‘ in number ( singular subject ),   the singular auxiliary verb ‘does’  is used with the verb  ‘study’.   So the verb  ‘study’  becomes  ‘studies’  by ending with  ‘ies’,   as shown below,

‘ does’ +  ‘study’  =  ‘studies‘.


  • If the subject is ‘plural’,  the plural auxiliary verb   ‘do’  is used with verb,  and so the main verb is confined in simple present tense with ‘ no change in its appearance’.

Eg: ‘Mary’  and ‘Anne ‘sing’ well.

Here,  ‘Mary’  and  ‘Anne’  are  ‘two‘  in ‘number’.   That is,  the subject is ‘plural’.   So the plural auxiliary  ‘do’  is used with the verb  ‘sing’,  and so,  the  non-finite  verb   ‘sing’  ( without a tense form)   becomes the finite verb  ‘sing’ ( with a tense form,  here, simple present form)   without any change in its appearance.

 ‘do’ + ‘sing’ = ‘sing’,   ( no change in the appearance of the verb, but changed as simple present )

Eg: They ‘ work’  hard.

Here,   as the subject  ‘They‘  is assumed as  ‘two ‘ or ‘more than two’  in ‘number‘,   it is surely a ‘plural’  subject.   So the ‘plural’ auxiliary of the simple present  ‘do‘  is used with the verb  ‘work‘.  Then the verb  ‘work‘  becomes  the  verb in  ‘simple present tense’  without any change in its appearance,  as shown here,

 ‘do’ + ‘work’ = ‘work’.  ( here also,  no change in the appearance of the verb, but changed as simple present )


But, there is an exception  that,    if  ‘ I ‘  is the subject,  the auxiliary  ‘do’  is used with the verb,   as  seen  in the  topic  the Concord ( exceptional rules ).

Eg: I  ‘speak ‘ English well.  (do + speak = speak)

Here the verb  ‘speak’  is helped by the auxiliary  ‘do’.


So, we have studied how to write and identify the sentences in simple present tense forms

Now,   let’s go through the following  sentences  and  analyse them  one by one  to study the uses of simple present tense,  by applying the rules related to the auxiliary verbs ‘do’ and ‘does’.

1   We ‘study’ simple present tense.

 Subject (S)  —->  ‘We’ ( plural ),  so,  ( do + study = study)


First of all, let’s  ask to the sentence a question  ” when the action ‘study’ is done”.   Then,   we get the answer  ‘simply now’  or  ‘just now‘.  That is the action  ‘study’  is done at the time of speaking.

So  simple present is used to denote an action that is done at the time of speaking.


2  Martin ‘walks’  five kilometres daily. 

S —–> ‘Martin’ ( singular ), so , ( does + walk = walks )

If  we ask the question ‘when’ to the sentence,   we get the answer ‘daily’.   That means the action ‘walks’  is one of Martin’s habits.   So  we can say  that  the action ‘walks‘ is his ‘habitual action’.

So simple present is  used to denote a  ‘habitual action’.


3  Victory  ‘makes’  us confident. 

S ——> ‘Victory’ ( singular ) , so, ( does + make = makes )

If we ask ‘when‘,   we get the answer ‘ever’.   So here the action ‘makes‘   expresses  ‘a general truth’   or  ‘a fact’.

Hence,  simple present is used to denote an action expressing  ‘a general truth’ or  a  fact.


4  The Sun ‘rises’  in the East. 

S ———-> ‘The Sun’ ( singular),  so, ( does + rise = rises )

If we ask ‘when’,   we get the answer ‘the Sun rises as long as the Universe exists’.  That is,  the action ‘rises’ is a  ‘Universal truth’. 

So,  simple present is used to denote a  ‘Universal truth’.

Another example,

The Earth ‘revolves’ round the Sun.  


5  The classes ‘commence’ on next Friday.  ( do + commence = commence )

S —–> The classes ( plural ), so, ( do + commence = commence)


If we ask ‘when’,   we get the answer   next Friday .  We know ‘next Friday’.is a time in future.  of course, we may think,  then why the action commence  is told in simple present tense form.   The explanation is that, if we want to declare a programme officially  ( grammatically, an action)  that is already planned and scheduled to be executed in the near future, it would be better to say  in  simple present tense.

Another example,

The President  ‘visits’  Australia next week.

Here, it is an official programme scheduled to be done in the next week.  So it is announced in simple present  tense.

So let’s conclude that,   simple present is used, to declare  officially a  ‘planned action’, scheduled  to be done in near future.

6  The overcredulous Othello  ‘suspects’  his innocent wife Desdemona and later,  ‘kills’ her brutally.


S ——> Othello ( singular), so, ( does + suspect = suspects ),

S—–>Othello (singular), so,   ( does + kill =  kills )

Here ,  we know that,  it is a scene from the famous play ‘Othello’  by Shakespeare,  describing  events in the climax.   As far as  the play is concerned,  the events became  historical  or  past at the time we are discussing about it.  But here,  the events (actions) are described in simple present tense to make the events  ‘lively’  or  make the readers feel that the events  are being taken place in front of them.. That is past events can be made  relevant or lively by saying it in simple present tense.

This technique is commonly used by journalists to report  events in newspapers.

Eg: India  ‘win ‘ the World Cup final match. ( do + win = win)

Here, we are saying about the past event,  but it is written in simple present tense to make lively and also to make every Indian  remind of such a wonderful moment.

 So  past events or historical events are used in simple present tense to make the events lively.


7  If Tom  ‘studies’  well,  he will get high marks. ( does + study =studies )

S —–> Tom ( singular ), so, ( does + study = studies )


Here  the action ‘studies’  is on a condition that  it is to be done in future and also this is a conditional clause as far as the whole sentence is considered. But  it is used in simple present. 

That is , the subject  ‘Tom’  has not started the action ‘ study‘  yet.  so the action is hoped to be done in future,  but there is no surety.   So at present, he will not get high marks.   But he will get, on the condition that if he studies in future.  So here, the  action is conditional.    Such actions can be told in simple present tense.

Another example,

If we  ‘use’  our natural resources properly,  we will not suffer scarcity in our basic needs.

That is,  ‘our action of using our natural resources properly’  is yet to be started at the earliest in the future.

So simple present is used to show a conditional action to be done in future.


Let’s remind the uses of simple present tense once more.

1   Simple present is used to denote an action that is done at the time of speaking.

eg: They clean the room


2  To denote a habitual action.

eg: Mary writes blogs 


3  To denote an action expressing a general truth or a fact.

eg: People often spend their leisure time on social media.


4  To denote a Universal truth.

eg: The stars shine at night



5  To declare officially a planned action scheduled  to be done in the near future. 

eg: The Indian President visits United States next month


6  To make the past events or historical events lively

eg: Hearing a sound, I ran into the room. Then I saw my child playing with his bat and ball.  He  throws  the ball up and blows  it with his bat . ( here,  mentioned a past event )

7  To denote a conditional action to be done in future

eg: If he comes, I will give him all these sweets.


By certain  words in sentences,   simple present tense can be identified.   They are given below,

‘always’,   ‘often’,   ‘very often’,   ‘usually’,   ‘generally’,   ‘commonly’,

‘daily’,   ‘regularly’,   ‘normally’,   ‘rarely’,   ‘scarcely’,    ‘seldom’  etc...

These words usually   show the time of actions in simple present tense.   So these  words are often considered as the  ‘timing words’  of simple present tense.


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