Present Simple
timeline, form, uses

Present Simple timeline, form, uses​

The Present Simple is used to talk about habits, regular occurrences, generalisations and scheduled events. It is also known as the Simple Present. Below we’ll explore the Present Simple timeline, form, uses, with examples. 

NOTE the Present Simple tense is not used to talk about what is happening right now at this moment; the Present Continuous is used for that.


The Present Simple tense is formed from the verb base, and in the affirmative form for the 3rd person singular only, +s or +es is added.
There are some irregulars of course for example 3rd person singular of to have is has.

The auxiliary verb to do is used to construct the negative, question and negative question forms. 

present simple tense

affirmative: subject + verb base (+s/+es for 3rd person singular)

for the following forms the auxiliary ‘to do’ in the Present Simple (do/does) is used:
negative: subject + auxiliary + not + verb base
question: auxiliary + subject + verb base
negative question: auxiliary + subject + not + verb base 

Forms of the Present Simple for the verb  to run:


I run
you run
he/she/it runs
we run
you run
they run


I do not run 
you do not run 
he/she/it does not run 
we do not run 
you do not run 
they do not run 


do I run?
do you run?
does he/she/ it run?
do we run?
do you run?
do they run?

negative questions

do I not run?
do you not run?
does he/she/ it not run?
do we not run?
do you not run?
do they not run?

Present Simple Uses

to express habits or something that is usual or happens regularly 
I work on Mondays.
She always sends a Christmas card.

to express things that are always true (or the speaker believes them to be)
Susan has green eyes.
Do you think ghosts are real?

to make generalisations
Cats like milk.
London is always busy.

for scheduled events in the future
The plane lands at 9 p.m.
Doesn’t the party start at 8.00 p.m.?

to express some future time after some conjunctions i.e. when, after, before
When you come over on Saturday, I’ll give you your birthday present.

to give instructions or directions
You take a blank piece of paper and put it in on the scanner bed length-ways.

to be Present Simple

The verb to be in the Present Simple is irregular.

Notice that it does not use the auxiliary verb to do.


Auxiliary verbs are often contracted, especially in spoken and informal written language.

the verb to do is contracted in the Present Simple negative form:
– do not
becomes don’t
– does not
becomes doesn’t
Don’t run before you can walk.
Doesn’t he have a sister?

More on contracted verbs