Present:

 
   
 
Use
 
Describing routines, regular events or facts, feelings or states
 
Structure
 
  • I/you/we/they + Infinitive
  • he/she/it + Infinitive + s
 
Signal words
 
always, never, often, seldom, rarely, sometimes, usually, normally, regularly, etc. every day, every week, every month, …
 
Positive statement
 
I walk, she walks, they take, he takes
 
Negative statement
 
I don’t walk, she doesn’t walk, they don’t take, he doesn’t take
 
Question
 
Do I walk? Does she walk? Do they take? Does he take?
 
 

Present: Present Progressive

 
   
 
Use
 
Describing things that happen at the moment of speech or things that happen exceptionally; talking about a plan that happens in the near future
 
Structure
 
am/are/is (simple present form of to be) + Infinitive + ing
 
Signal words
 
at the moment, right now, just, now, at present, currently, Look!
 
Positive statement
 
I am walking, she is walking, they are taking, he is taking
 
Negative statement
 
I am not walking, she isn't walking, they aren't taking, he isn't taking
 
Question
 
Am I walking? Is she walking? Are they taking? Is he taking?
 
 

Past: Simple Past

 
   
 
Use
 
Talking about things that happened in the past and are completed or over at the moment of speech
 
Structure
 
  • Regular verbs: Infinitive + ed
  • Irregular verbs: simple past form
 
Signal words
 
yesterday, the other day, in 2009, when, at that time two days ago, a week ago, a month ago, … last night, last week, last month, …
 
Positive statement
 
I walked, she walked, they took, he took
 
Negative statement
 
I didn't walk, she didn't walk, they didn't take, he didn't take
 
Question
 
Did I walk? Did she walk? Did they take? Did he take?
 
 

Past: Past Progressive

 
   
 
Use
 
Describing actions or things that were in progress in the past, even if something else suddenly interrupted this progress
 
Structure
 
was/were (simple past form of to be) + Infinitive + ing
 
Signal words
 
while
 
Positive statement
 
I was walking, she was walking, they were taking, he was taking
 
Negative statement
 
I wasn't walking, she wasn't walking, they weren't taking, he wasn't taking
 
Question
 
Was I walking? Was she walking? Were they taking? Was he taking?
 
 

Past: Present Perfect Simple

 
   
 
Use
 
Emphasising the result of something, talking about things that happened at an unknown time in the past, describing things that happened in the past and are not yet completed or over at the moment of speech
 
Structure
 
have/has (simple present form of to have) + past participle
 
Signal words
 
since, for, already, yet, before, ever, never, still not, so far, just, up to now, recently, until now
 
Positive statement
 
I have walked, she has walked, they have taken, he has taken
 
Negative statement
 
I haven't walked, she hasn't walked, they haven't taken, he hasn't taken
 
Question
 
Have I walked? Has she walked? Have they taken? Has he taken?
 
 

Past: Present Perfect Progressive

 
   
 
Use
 
Emphasising the duration of something, describing things that started happening in the past and are still going on at the moment of speech and/or influence the present
 
Structure
 
have/has (simple present form of to have) + been + Infinitive + ing
 
Signal words
 
for, since, how long, all day, all day long, the whole day/week/month/year
 
Positive statement
 
I have been walking, she has been walking, they have been taking, he has been taking
 
Negative statement
 
I haven't been walking, she hasn't been walking, they haven't been taking, he hasn't been taking
 
Question
 
Have I been walking? Has she been walking? Have they been taking? Has he been taking?
 
 

Past: Past Perfect Simple

 
   
 
Use
 
Emphasising that something in the past stopped or was over when something else began, describing the fact that something happened before a certain time
 
Structure
 
had (simple past form of to have) + past participle
 
Signal words
 
already, until that day, never, just
 
Positive statement
 
I had walked, she had walked, they had taken, he had taken
 
Negative statement
 
I hadn't walked, she hadn't walked, they hadn't taken, he hadn't taken
 
Question
 
Had I walked? Had she walked? Had they taken? Had he taken?
 
 

Past: Past Perfect Progressive

 
   
 
Use
 
Emphasising the progress or duration of something, describing things that happened in the past and stopped or were over at a certain time later in the past
 
Structure
 
had (simple past form of to have) + been + Infinitive + ing
 
Signal words
 
for, since, how long, all day, after, before
 
Positive statement
 
I had been walking, she had been walking, they had been taking, he had been taking
 
Negative statement
 
I hadn't been walking, she hadn't been walking, they hadn't been taking, he hadn't been taking
 
Question
 
Had I been walking? Had she been walking? Had they been taking? Had he been taking?
 
 

Future: Will-Future

 
   
 
Use
 
Describing things that will certainly happen in the future, talking about expectations, hopes or assumptions, spontaneous decisions
 
Structure
 
will + Infinitive
 
Signal words
 
tomorrow, next week/month/year, in 2021, expect, believe, hope, suppose, think, probably
 
Positive statement
 
I will walk, she will walk, they will take, he will take
 
Negative statement
 
I won't walk, she won't walk, they won't take, he won't take
 
Question
 
Will I walk? Will she walk? Will they take? Will he take?
 
 

Future: Going-to-Future

 
   
 
Use
 
Describing plans and aims in the future, implications, talking about things that will happen in the near future
 
Structure
 
am/are/is (simple present form of to be) + going to + Infinitive
 
Signal words
 
tomorrow, next week/month/year, in 2011
 
Positive statement
 
I am going to walk, she is going to walk, they are going to take, he is going to take
 
Negative statement
 
I am not going to walk, she isn't going to walk, they aren't going to take, he isn't going to take
 
Question
 
Am I going to walk? Is she going to walk? Are they going to take? Is he going to take?
 
 

Future: Future Progressive

 
   
 
Use
 
Describing things that will be in progress in the future, talking about things that usually happen in the future
 
Structure
 
will + be + Infinitive + ing
 
Signal words
 
tomorrow, next week/month/year, in 2041
 
Positive statement
 
I will be walking, she will be walking, they will be taking, he will be taking
 
Negative statement
 
I won't be walking, she won't be walking, they won't be taking, he won't be taking
 
Question
 
Will I be walking? Will she be walking? Will they be taking? Will he be taking?
 
 

Future: Future Perfect

 
   
 
Use
 
Talking about things that will be completed or over at a certain time in the future
 
Structure
 
will + have + past participle
 
Signal words
 
until, before by the end of the day, by the end of the week, by the end of the month, …
 
Positive statement
 
I will have walked, she will have walked, they will have taken, he will have taken
 
Negative statement
 
I won't have walked, she won't have walked, they won't have taken, he won't have taken
 
Question
 
Will I have walked? Will she have walked? Will they have taken? Will he have taken?
 
 
 
 

The simple present tense

The simple present tense is one of the basic tenses in the English language. It is the first tense you learn before all other tenses. It is very important to know how to build it.

Positive statements

  • With I, you, we, they, verbs in the simple present tense don't have any special ending. You simply use the infinitive form of the verb: I want.., You need.., We go.., They like...
  • With he, she, it you need to add -s to the verb: he wants, she needs, he likes, he eats, she meets, it works.
Read the simple present forms of the verb to have. There is an exception to the rule above:
  • I have
  • You have
  • He, she, it has
  • We have
  • You have
  • They have
As you see, you don't just add s to the verb have! You must use the form has with he, she, it.
Note: the verb to have indicates possession: I have a car. She has a dog. They have a new house. You can also use the verb have got to indicate possession: I have got a car. She has got a dog. They have got a new house.
Have or has? Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verb to have in the simple present tense.
 
 
  •  Anna 
     a cold. She 
     a headache and doesn't feel well. That's why she 
     to stay in bed. Pedro enters the room and says: "Hey Anna, we will have lunch soon. Can you get up?" Anna replies: "No, I can't. I 
     a very bad headache." Pedro: "Ok, then 
     lunch in bed today!"
     
 
 
 

Negative statements

To negate a sentence in the simple present tense, we use "don't" or "doesn't".
Use "don't" with I, you, we, they + infinitive form of the main verb to negate a statement:
  • I don't like parties.
  • You don't listen to me.
  • We don't have a car.
  • They don't have any money.
  • I don't want any ice-cream.
Use "doesn't" with he, she, it + infinitive form of the main verb to negate a statement:
  • He doesn't like apples.
  • She doesn't use a computer.
  • It doesn't work.
  • He doesn't have a swimming lesson today.
  • She doesn't know that.
Look at the pictures and answer the questions. When the picture is crossed out, write a negative answer. For example: Does he have a car? No, he doesn't have a car.. When there is a picture without a cross, write a positive answer: Does he have a car? Yes, he has a car.
 
 
  •  
    cat
    Do they have a cat?  
     .

     
  •  
    football
    Do we have a ball?  
     .

     
  •  
    bike
    Does he have a bike?  
     .

     
  •  
    dog
    Does she have a dog?  
     .

     
  •  
    car
    Do they have a car?  
     .

     
 
 
 

Questions in the simple present tense

Yes/No Questions with do/does

Yes/No Questions require somebody to make a decision. The answer can be either Yes or No.
To form questions in the simple present tense, you use "do" or "does" + the infinitive of the main verb:
  • Use "do" with the pronouns I, you, we, they.
  • Use "does" with the pronouns he, she, it.
  • I like parties.Do you like parties?
  • You eat ice cream.Do you eat ice cream?
  • He likes music.Does he like music?
  • She plays the drums.Does she play the drums?
  • It works well.Does it work well?
  • We watch TV.Do we watch TV?
  • They like football.Do they like football?
Note: Use do or does + the infinitive form of the main verb! Do not add s to the verb: Does he plays the drums? —> That's wrong! The s for "he, she, it" is already included in the form does!
Do the sentences start with Do or Does? Decide via drag and drop.
 
 
  • you want to come?
     
  • they watch TV?
     
  • she work with you?
     
  • it look okay?
     
  • the party start at 6?
     
  • they like Spain?
     
  • it rain?
     
  • I look good?
     
  • you like me?
     
  • he ride his bike?
     
  • we leave soon?
     
  • he bother you?
     
Do
 
Does
 
 
 
 
 
 
Write questions in the simple present tense. Use the words from the answers. For example: If the answer is Yes, she plays football. then write Does she play football?.
 
 
  1.  ? – No, we don't go to the movies.

     
  2.  ? – Yes, we have dinner at 6 pm.

     
  3.  ? – No, he doesn't play tennis.

     
  4.  ? – Yes, they come to the party.

     
  5.  ? – Yes, she goes to college.

     
 
 
 

Short answers

Remember how we form Yes/No Questions with the verb "to be": Are you tired?. You've already learned that you don't just answer with Yes or No, because that is sometimes impolite. Instead, you give a short answer: Yes, I am. or No, I am not..
The same rule applies to giving short answers to Yes/No Questions with other main verbs:
  • Do you like parties?Yes, I do. or No, I don't.
  • Does he like music?Yes, he does. or No, he doesn't.
  • Does she play the drums?Yes, she does. or No, she doesn't.
  • Does it work well?Yes, it does. or No, it doesn't.
  • Do we watch TV?Yes, we do. or No, we don't.
  • Do they like football?Yes, they do. or No, they don't.
Yes/No + personal pronoun + do/don't or does/doesn't
Again:
  • Use do with I, you, we, they.
  • Use does with he, she, it.
 
Read the following text and spot the mistakes. Select the incorrect use of do or does by clicking on the forms.
 
 
  • Anna and Pedro talk about Michael and Josh, their next-door neighbours. Anna says: " Does you like them?". "Yes, I do . I think they are all right. How about you? Do you want to play with them again?" Anna: "Yes, I does . They seem nice. But Josh asked me yesterday ' Do your brother really play no sports regularly?' and I said 'No, he don't , but he likes other stuff like playing the guitar or working on his computer.' I don't know why he asked me that. I think it was strange."
 
 
 
 
Practise short answers in the simple present. Choose the right form and complete the answer.
 
 
  1.  Does she really come from Italy? – Yes, she 
     .

     
  2.  Do we need any milk? – Yes, we 
     .

     
  3.  Do they often eat at a restaurant? – Yes, they 
     .

     
  4.  Do you live with your parents? – Yes, I 
     .

     
  5.  Does he live with you? – No, he 
     .

     
  6.  Do you mind if I borrow your book? – No, I 
     .

     
 
 
 

Use

You use the simple present in two situations:
1. You use it to say that something (usually an action) is a regular routine, event or a fact:
  • You always have lunch at 12.30 pm.
  • It always does that.
  • You never tell us about your parents.
  • He sometimes calls me "Honey".
  • We usually go to the cinema on the weekend.
All these sentences have special adverbials of frequency like always, never, seldom, rarely, every day, every week, every month, every year, sometimes, usually, normally, regularly, etc. These words often appear with and are an indicator of the simple present!
Be careful with the position of the adverbial: it comes before a main verb like eat, have, like, meet, see, come, call, go, but after the verb "to be":
  • He always comes late. BUT He is always late.
  • She never calls me back. BUT She is never at home when I call her.
  • They sometimes come over to our place. BUT We are never at their place.
Also, there is one more exception: adverbials with every like every morning, every night, every day, every week, every month, every year, every time, … are placed at the end of the sentence:
  • We meet our friends every weekend.
  • They have dinner at 6.30 pm every night.
  • He eats breakfast at 8 o'clock every morning.
2. You use the simple present to talk about a fact or a state like feelings, likes and dislikes that are true for a longer period of time:
  • We live in New York.
  • He hates vegetables.
  • I love you.
  • My English teacher is very nice.
  • She likes chocolate.
  • The dog is 5 years old.
  • Her name is Anna.
  • They have two cats.
 
Take a look at the daily routine of the Fernandez family. Then complete the exercise below. Fill in the first gap with the correct day of the week. Then fill in the second gap with the simple present form of the verb (in brackets). For example: On ____ afternoon, she ___ (play) volleyball. On Tuesday afternoon, she plays volleyball. To read again how to form the simple present, click here.
 
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
family breakfast at 7 am Maria art class at 4 pm Anna with her friends at 3 pm Anna late school start at 10 am
school bus at 7.45 am Pedro swims in the evening Pedro's favourite TV show at 7 pm family cinema at 8 pm
 
 
  1.  On 
     evening, they often 
     (go) to the cinema together.
     
  2.  On 
     afternoon, Maria 
     (have) an art class.
     
  3.  On
     morning, Anna and Pedro 
     (go) to school at 7.45 am.
     
  4.  On 
     evening, Pedro usually 
     (watch) his favourite TV show.
     
  5.  On 
     evening, Pedro 
     (like) going to the indoor swimming pool.
     
  6.  On 
     morning, Anna 
     (leave) late for school.
     
  7.  On 
     afternoon, Anna sometimes 
     (meet) her friends.
     
  8.  Every 
     morning, they 
     (have) breakfast together.
     
 
 
 
daily-routine
Listen to the audio file. Then match the times with the actions using Drag and Drop.
 
 
 
 
  • go to the gym
     
  • work late
     
  • business meeting
     
  • go out to clubs
     
  • relax at home
     
  • visit parents
     
  • meet my friend Bill
     
  • On Monday
     
  • On Tuesday afternoon
     
  • On Wednesday morning
     
  • On Thursday night
     
  • On Friday night
     
  • On Saturday
     
  • On Sunday
     
 
 
 
 
 
 

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