Simple Present Tense (do-does) – Learn with Games and Exercises

simple present tense (do, does) grammar explanation

What is simple present tense shortly?

Simple present tense (present simple tense) is a verb tense that describes the events and situations that do not change. “Do” and “does” are the auxiliary verbs of simple present tense. However, “do” and “does” are not used in positive sentences. They are used only in negative and question sentences. The auxiliary verb “does” is used for third person singular (He, She, It). In other subjects (I, You, We, They), the auxiliary verb “do” is used.
The following animated sentences are examples of present simple tense:

  Does Why doesWhere does

Emily

likeseatseatdoes not eateatbuy

ice-cream.

simple present tense - grammar timeline
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Formation of simple present tense

For affirmative sentences we use the infinite form of the verb. For negative sentences we use “not” after the auxiliary “do” and “does”. For questions we put “do/does” before the subject.

Which auxiliary (helping verb) to use for simple present tense?

The auxiliary verb in simple present tense is “do / does“. However we use “am, is, are” to talk about a general state or condition.
Examples:

  • I work in the office.
  • I don’t work in the office.
  • Do you work in the office?
  • I am in the office.
  • I am in the office.
  • Are you in the office?

NOTE: To learn verb to be (am, is, are) click here.

Positive (Affirmative) sentences in simple present tense

For the formation of positive sentences in simple present tense we do not use “do” or “does” in front of the verb. This may sound strange. Because we know that the auxiliary verbs that precede the verbs help us understand the tense of the sentence. However, the verb is alone here. In addition, for the subjects “He, She, It”, the suffix “-s” is added at the end of the verb.

  • I like pizza.
  • We go abroad every summer.
  • She speaks three languages.
  • Lions eat meat.
  • Oliver walks to school.
  • They play computer games.
  • Maria prefers action movies.

NOTE:
The verb “have” changes into “has” when it gets “-s” at the end.

  • She has breakfast.
  • She doesn’t have breakfast.
  • Does she have breakfast?

NOTE:
In positive sentences, when the subject is “He, She, It”, we change “-s” into “-es” or “-ies“. The reason is as follows:

  • For the verbs ending with “-s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -x, -o” we add “-es” at the end of the verb.
    brushes, kisses, catches, fixes, goes, does etc.
  • If the verb has “-y” at the end and it precedes with a consonant letter, we drop the “-y” and add “-ies
    try> tries, fly> flies, carry> carries etc.

Negative sentences in simple present tense

For the formation of negative sentences in simple present tense we use “not” together with “do / does“. The short forms are “don’t / doesn’t

  • I don’t like cigarette.
  • Sarah doesn’t need help.
  • He doesn’t forget names.
  • They don’t go out alone.

Interrogative sentences in simple present tense

For the formation of question sentences (interrogative) in simple present tense we put “do / does” before the subject. This also applies to the “Wh- questions” which we call “information questions” as well.

  • Do you like lemonade?
  • Does she keep secret?
  • Where do you live?
  • Why does Molly wear pink dresses?

Sentence forms in simple present tense

Simple present tense Formula with example sentences
(+) Affirmative sentences (-) Negative sentences (?) Interrogative sentences
 I speak  I don’t speak  Do you speak?
 You speak  You don’t speak  Do you speak?
 He speaks  He doesn’t speak  Does he speak?
 She speaks  She doesn’t speak  Does she speak?
 It speaks  It doesn’t speak  Does it speak?
 We speak  We don’t speak  Do we speak?
 They speak  They don’t speak  Do they speak?

Example Sentences

  • (+) They like basketball.
  • (-) They don’t like basketball.
  • (?) Do they like basketball?
  • (?) What do they like?
  • (+) He likes basketball.
  • (-) He doesn’t like basketball.
  • (?) Does he like basketball?
  • (?) What does he like?

Explanations and usages of simple present tense

Lets go on with the explanations, usages and time adverbs of simple present tense

1- Facts or generalizations.

It is used for events and situations that never change.
Examples:

  • People need food in this village.
  • The wind blows a lot here.
  • Trains carry many passengers.
  • Smart phones cause some health problems.
  • Water boils at 100C degrees.
  • The earth revolves around the Sun.
  • Lions don’t eat grass.
  • Plants give us oxygen.
  • Pandas live in China.

2- Habits, routines or repeated actions.

We use simple present tense to talk about habits and routines.
Examples:

  • I get up at 8 o’clock every day.
  • Do you drink coffee every day?
  • She always brushes her teeth.
  • Leo plays his guitar in his room.

3- Likes and dislikes

We can also use simple present tense to talk about likes and dislikes. Some commonly used verbs are as follows: “like”,”love”, “hate”, “dislike”, “enjoy” etc.
Examples:

  • I love ice-cream.
  • Do you like playing chess?
  • She hates lies.
  • Sandra doesn’t like tea with sugar.
  • We like to swim.
  • I dislike cold weather.

4- Scheduled events in near future

Examples:

  • The train arrives at 9 AM.
  • The bus arrives at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
  • When do we board the plane?
  • When does the wedding ceremony start?
  • The films starts at 8.30
  • The bus arrives at 6PM.
  • The English lesson starts at 10.30.

5- With non-progressive verbs

Some verbs in English doesn’t have continuous forms. These verbs are called non-progressive or non-continuous verbs. We use simple present tense with these verbs.

Some non-progressive verbs are: believe, know, remember, understand, need, hate, like, love, prefer, want, feel, mean etc.
Examples:

  • I know the answer. – CORRECT
    I am knowing the answer. – INCORRECT
  • I want some sugar. – CORRECT
    I am wanting some sugar. – INCORRECT
  • Brian feels cold. – CORRECT
    Brian isn’t feeling cold. – INCORRECT
  • I don’t remember her name. – CORRECT
    I am not remembering her name. – INCORRECT
  • Do you understand? – CORRECT
    Are you understanding? – INCORRECT

6- Narrating events

Example:The man opens the door and goes out slowly. He looks around carefully. Then he sees a little cat under the tree. He grabs it and says “Oh. Are you hungry?”

Adverbs of Frequency

What are Adverbs of frequency?
Simple present tense indicates repetitive actions, so it is good to say the frequency of these actions. In this case, we use some words called “Frequency adverbs”. These words are used just before the verb. This list of frequency (Frequency Adverbs) is as follows:

List of frequency adverbs

  • always
  • usually
  • generally / normally
  • often / frequently
  • sometimes
  • occasionally
  • seldom
  • rarely
  • hardly ever
  • never

Examples of frequency adverbs

Read the example sentences with the frequency adverbs and try to make similar sentences.
Examples:

  • I often eat eggs for the breakfast.
  • I never smoke.
  • Lisa always walks to school.
  • Do you usually get up early?
  • You hardly ever say “Thanks”.
  • They don’t normally go out for dinner.
  • My father often forgets my birthday.
  • I generally have breakfast before I go out.

Memory cards to learn the adverbs of frequency

The cards below have adverbs of frequency. Click on them and try to say the meaning of them in your native language.

  • flashcards image
    seldom
  • flashcards image
    frequently
  • flashcards image
    usually
  • flashcards image
    always
  • flashcards image
    normally
  • flashcards image
    often
  • flashcards image
    hardly ever
  • flashcards image
    generally
  • flashcards image
    rarely
  • flashcards image
    sometimes
  • flashcards image
    never
  • flashcards image
    occasionally

Time adverbs to use in simple present tense.

every ….

  • I play football ever weekend.
  • We go holiday ever summer.
  • She gets up late every day.

once, twice, three times, ten times etc.

  • I go to cinema once a month.
  • She goes out with her friends twice a week.
  • I call my son at least 3 times a day.

on Mondays, at the weekends, in the mornings

  • I call my grandparents on Saturdays.
  • In the evenings I take a taxi to go back home.

Verb to be (am, is, are)

We use am, is, are when we talk about a state rather than an action.

  • I work in London. (Action verb)
  • I am in London. (State verb)

Action verbs examples (do, does)

  • Frank works at the hospital.
  • Frank doesn’t work at the hospital.
  • Does Frank work at the hospital?
  • Where does Frank work?

Verb to be examples (am,is,are)

  • Frank is at the hospital.
  • Frank isn’t at the hospital.
  • Is Frank at the hospital?
  • Where is Frank?

Learn simple present tense with images and example sentences

Look at the images below and read the simple present tense sentences

A dialogue about simple present tense

Here is a dialogue to learn simple present tense. Read and try to make similar dialogues.

  1. Do you go holiday every summer?

  2. Yes. I do.

    I like summer holidays very much.

  3. Where do you go for holiday?

  4. In fact, I don’t go to seaside.

    I like camping in the mountains.

  5. Really?

    Where do you go for camping?

  6. It is up to us.

    We usually decide before we go.

    If you want, you can join us.

  7. Why not?

Translate the sentences about simple present tense.

You will see some examples of simple present tense below. Translate them into your native language.

Sentence scramble game about simple present tense

You will see scrambled words of simple present tense sentences. Click on the words in order to make a meaningful sentence.


tries

Example sentences to learn simple present tense

Here are examples of simple present tense below. Some are affirmative some sentences are negative and some are interrogative.

10 example sentences :

  1. I always get up early.
  2. I don’t like hot weather.
  3. Mr. Anderson usually forgets to lock the door.
  4. She keeps secrets.
  5. Cats don’t like swimming.
  6. She rarely writes emails.
  7. Steven looks happy.
  8. I like reading poems a lot.
  9. The children brush their teeth every day.
  10. When I buy something, I read the instructions.

Questions and answers as simple present tense examples

You will see 10 questions with their answers below. Try to understand the formation of the sentences.

10 questions and answers

  1. How do you go to school?
    I go to school by bus.
  2. Do you like ice-cream?
    Yes, I like ice-cream.
  3. Why do you always wear sunglasses?
    Because I have a problem with my eyes.
  4. Does your father help your mother at home?
    Yes, he does.
  5. What time do you go to bed?
    I go to bed at about 11 PM.
  6. Do you make noise in the classroom?
    No, I don’t.
  7. Where are you from?
    I am from Canada.
  8. How often do you watch TV?
    I sometimes watch TV.
  9. Do you agree with me?
    No, I don’t agree with you.
  10. Are you OK?
    Yes, I am OK.

Reading passage – Daily routine

My daily routine
My name is Lydia Collins. I live in a flat. My day daily routine starts very early. Every morning I wake up at six o’clock and wear my school uniform. Then I have breakfast with my father and mother. My little brother doesn’t have breakfast with us. Because it is too early for him. After breakfast I go out and wait for the school bus. At about 7 AM I get on the bus. I come back home at 3 PM. I feel tired when I come back. I have a rest and play with Dody, our cat. Then I start doing my homework. I try to finish it before 7 PM. So that I can go out and play with my friends. We have dinner at 8 PM. We often have chicken for dinner but I hate chicken. I eat it because mum gets angry. After dinner I watch TV for an hour. I go to bed early because I’m always very tired at the end of the day.

Similar pages:
>> Learn verb to be here
>> Learn present continuous tense here
>> Learn future simple tense (will) here
>> Learn be going to future tense here
>> Learn simple past tense here
>> Learn past continuous tense here
>> Learn present perfect tense here

External resources:
You can go on learning with our other games and activities on this category page. You can also learn simple present tense on Wikibooks page here, or watch a video for examples here.