English Grammar : article, syntax, verbs conjugation, English spelling

Verb Tense » The present tense

The present tense

The present tense is generally used to talk about:

  • things that happen often, or don't change: “They play golf on Saturdays.”
    “Derrick lives on Fifth Avenue.”
  • events which are fixed in the future: “The deadline is tomorrow.”
    “The World Track and Field Championships begin next week.”
  • facts: “The Mississippi River divides the United States into east and west.”
    “Tornadoes only occur during the summer.”
  • perception, emotion and relationships: “I am tired.”
    “He hears music playing.”
    “We think you're smart.”
    “I love chocolate.”
    “Bill owes me ten dollars.”
  • present actions or speech acts (such as sports commentary): “He catches the ball at the twenty yard line and runs to the goal line.”
    “I accept your invitation.”

In the 3rd person singular, The present tense is formed by adding an “s” to the base form of the verb. (The “base form” of the verb is the infinitive form without the “to.” For example, “make” is the base form of “to make.”)

“My father walks to work every day.”
“He lives in an apartment.”
“She loves playing soccer.”

However, the base form of the verb does not change for any other person:

“I watch television in the evenings.”
“We think he is too young.”
“Those cookies smell good!”

For negative sentences or questions, a form of the verb “to do” is used with the base form of the verb:

“Gerry doesn't know her.”
Do they work on Saturdays?”
“I don't understand.”
Do you speak English?”
“We don't watch TV very often.”