The Present Simple Tense

We need to use the Present Simple a lot in English, so it’s really important to understand it well. Many students have problems with the form (or how to make it)


  • If you’d prefer to learn about how to USE the Present Simple jump to this page.
  • Or, click here for all the practice exercises about this tense.


Simple present tense with ‘be’

The verb ‘be’ is different from the other verbs in this tense. Let’s look at ‘be’ first:

Here’s the positive form (positive means a normal sentence, not a negative or a question. This is sometimes called ‘affirmative’)

Positive                                 Positive Short Form

I am                                                    I’m
you are                                                you’re
he is                                                    he’s
she is                                                   she’s
it is                                                                               it’s
we are                                                  we’re
they are                                                they’re


Next, here’s the negative. It’s very easy. You only add ‘not’.

Negative                                      Negative short form

I am not                                                     I’m not
you are not                                                you aren’t
he is not                                                     he isn’t
she is not                                                    she isn’t
it is not                                                       it isn’t
we are not                                                   we aren’t
they are not                                                 they aren’t


And finally let’s talk about the question form of the present simple with ‘be’.

Firstly, here’s the ‘yes / no’ question form:

Yes / No Questions

am I ?
are you ?
is he ?
is she ?
is it ?
are we ?
are they ?


If you’d like to make a ‘wh’ question, you just put the question word at the front:

Wh Questions

where                                                        am I ?
what                                                          are you ?
why                                                            is he ?
who                                                            is she ?
when                                                         are we ?
how                                                           are they ?


With all other verbs, we make the present simple in the same way.

The positive is really easy. It’s just the verb with an extra ‘s’ if the subject is ‘he’, ‘she’, or ‘it’. Let’s take the verb ‘play’ as an example:

Positive (of ‘play’)
I play
you play
he plays
she plays
it plays
we play
they play

  • Don’t forget the ‘s’! Even really advanced students do this!
  • For a few verbs, there is a spelling change before the ‘s’. For example, ‘study’ becomes ‘studies’.  
  • There are also few verbs which are irregular in the present simple:
  1. ‘have’ becomes ‘has’
  2. ‘do’ becomes ‘does’
  3. ‘go’ becomes ‘goes’


To make the negative form, you need to use ‘do not’ (don’t) or ‘ does not’ (doesn’t).

Negative (of ‘play’)

I do not play                            I don’t play
you do not play                        you don’t play
he does not play                      he doesn’t play
she does not play                     she doesn’t play
it does not play                        it doesn’t play
we do not play                         we don’t play
they do not play                       they don’t play


How about the question form of the present simple tense?

We use ‘do’ or ‘does’ before the subject to make the ‘yes / no’ question:

Yes / No questions

do I play ?
do you play ?
does he play ?
does she play ?
does it play ?
do we play ?
do they play ?


Just like with ‘be’, if you’d like to make a ‘wh’ question, you just put the question word at the front:

Wh Questions

where                                           do I play ?
what                                             do you play ?
why                                              does he play ?
who                                              does she play ?
when                                            do we play ?
how                                              do they play ?

Seguro que ahora tienes un poco más claro, cómo se construye el presente simple. Pero si te ha quedado alguna duda o necesitas un título oficial que acredite tus conocimientos de Inglés, puedes acudir a cualquier centro Walton Palmer y estaremos encantados de ayudarte.



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Comments (5)

[…] first conditional has the present simple after ‘if’, then the future simple in the other […]

[…] 2: We can use the future perfect continuous, like the other perfect continuous tenses, to talk about something that finishes just before another time or action (in this case, in the future). It’s often used because there will be a result at the second point in the future. (Again, if we use ‘when’ we usually need the present simple.) […]

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