Present simple (I do)

Learn and practise the present simple tense in English.

A Study this example situation:

present simple

B We use the present simple to talk about things in general. We use it to say that something happens all the time or repeatedly, or that something is true in general:

  • Nurses look aft er patients in hospitals.
  • I usually go away at weekends.
  • The earth goes round the sun.
  • The cafe opens at 7.30 in the morning.

We say:
I work but he works | you go but it goes
they teach but my sister teaches | I have but he has

C We use do/does to make questions and negative sentences:

present simple

  • I come from Canada. Where do you come from?
  • I don’t go away very oft en.
  • What does this word mean? (not What means this word?)
  • Rice doesn’t grow in cold climates.

In the following examples, do is also the main verb (do you do / doesn’t do etc.):

  • ‘What do you do?’ ‘I work in a shop.’
  • He’s always so lazy. He doesn’t do anything to help.
D We use the present simple to say how oft en we do things:

  • I get up at 8 o’clock every morning.
  • How often do you go to the dentist?
  • Julie doesn’t drink tea very often.
  • Robert usually goes away two or three times a year.
E I promise / I apologise etc.

Sometimes we do things by saying something. For example, when you promise to do something, you can say ‘I promise … ’; when you suggest something, you can say ‘I suggest … ’:

  • I promise I won’t be late. (not I’m promising)
  • ‘What do you suggest I do?’ ‘I suggest that you …’

In the same way we say: I apologise … / I advise … / I insist … / I agree … / I refuse … etc.