When to use the simple present tense
The simple present tense is used to talk about our everyday activities – things that we do regularly or at specific intervals. Before you start learning this tense form, think about things you do every day. You can find an overview of the simple present tense here.
- When do you get up in the morning?
- I get up at six o’clock.
- What do you do in the morning?
- I go for a walk in the morning.
- When do you have breakfast?
- I have breakfast at 8.30 am.
- When do you go to office?
- I go to office at 9 am.
- What do you do?
- I work at a factory.
- Where do you live?
- I live in a small village in Kerala.
- When do you have lunch?
- I have lunch at one o’clock.
- When do you go to bed?
- I go to bed / sleep at ten o’clock.
Once you are comfortable talking about your own daily activities, you can start talking about other people’s routines. There is an important point to consider. In the simple present tense, when the subject is a singular noun (e.g. Rahul, Maya, pen, tree, dog, boy) or a third person singular pronoun (he, she, it), the verb takes the marker –s. You can learn about subject-verb agreement here.
- Susmita gets up at six o’clock. (NOT Susmita get up at six o’clock.)
- Roopa teaches at a school. (NOT Roopa teach at a school.)
- She earns a handsome salary. (NOT She earn a handsome salary.)
The verb does not take the marker -s when the subject is a plural noun (e.g. books, girls, children, pens, trees, dogs, boys) or pronoun (they, we, you).
The first person pronoun ‘I’ also doesn’t take the marker –s.
- I run a website. (NOT I runs a website.)
- You sing well. (NOT You sings well.)
- They work at a factory. (NOT They works at a factory.)
See also: Nouns that always need a plural verb