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English Grammar Reference: The Present Simple

We use the present simple to talk about things which happen in general, when we talk about things which we do every day, always, sometimes or often (see also adverbs of frequency).
I get up at 7 am.
I play tennis three times a week.
You drink two cups of coffee a day.
You sleep out every night (Big Rock Candy Mountain)

The present simple of regular verbs uses the base form for all its forms except the 3rd person singular when we add an s.

She works from Monday to Friday.
She goes to the cinema every Saturday night.
He often eats curry.
The United States has a population of 300 million.

Here are two regular verbs in the present simple:

To Play

 

To Like

I play

We play

 

I like

We like

You play

You play

 

You like

You like

He plays
She plays
It plays

They play

 

He likes
She likes
It likes

They drink

When we make negative sentences or questions, we use the auxiliary verb To Do.

To Do

 

To Do (negative)

I do

We do

 

I don't

We don't

You do

You do

 

You don't

You don't

He does
She does
It does

They do

 

He doesn't
She doesn't
It doesn't

They don't

When we make negative sentences in the present simple we use the negative form of the verb to do and the base form of the verb.

Subject

To Do (negative)

Base form of verb

 
I
don't
like

cake

You

don't

drink

milk.

He

doesn't

speak

Japanese.

Examples

She doesn't drink coffee.
We don't live here.
They don't cook very well.

When we make questions we use do or does and the base form of the verb:

Auxiliary

Subject

Verb

Do

I

have

time?

Do

you

live

near here?

Does

he

play

football?

Examples

Does she like dancing?
Do we know them?
Do they speak French?

If we add a Question Word we use the following construction:

Question word

Auxiliary

Subject

Verb

Where

do

you

live?

What time

do

they

get up?

How many cds

do

you

have?

Examples

When does he finish work?
What kind of car do you drive?
How many languages does she speak?

 

If we use the verb To Be, we do not use do or does.

Verb To Be

 

Verb To Be (negative)

I am

We are

 

I'm not / I aren't

We aren't

You are

You are

 

You aren't

You aren't

He is
She is
It is

They are

 

He isn't
She isn't
It isn't

They aren't

Examples

I'm hungry.
You are late.
They aren't very tall.

 

See also:

English Grammar Exercises: The Big Rock Candy Mountain

English Grammar Exercises: Jon Bon Jovi, Blaze of Glory