We use the present simple in the following situations:
1) General truths and current information. (Hechos e Información actual)
- When we want to talk about something that is always true then we can use the present simple. Let’s look at these examples:
- Two plus two equals four.
- These actions are always true. The information does not vary. We can also use the present simple for current information. The verb to be is very useful to express these situations.
- Sheila has three children.
2) Routines and habits
- Pedro doesn’t have breakfast. (It is not part of his routine)
- I smoke about ten cigarrttes a day. (It is a habit)
|Verb to be||Other verbs|
|She is my friend||She works for IBM|
|They are married||They live in Miami|
|I’m a teacher||I play tennis|
|Pedro isn’t sad||Pedro doesn’t like playing tennis.|
|They aren’t brothers||They don’t live together|
|Are they single?||Do they ?|
|Is he your friend?||Does he study English?|
The verb TO BE
The verb to be DOES NOT use auxiliaries. Look at the examples:
(+) I am always happy – He/she/it is at the bank – We/you/they are married
(-) I am not French – He/she/it is not sad – We/you/they are not single.
(?) Am I sick doctor? – Is he/she/it in the kitchen? – Are we/you/they Brazilian?
(+) I /we/you/they play tennis – He/she/it plays tennis
(-)I /we/you/they don’t play tennis – He/she/it doesn’t play tennis
(?) Do I /we/you/they play tennis – Does he/she/it play tennis
DO NOT use the verb to be with other verbs together.
When we use other verbs (study), to form the negative, we have to use the auxiliary “doesn’t”
Use the auxiliaries in questions with other verbs.
When we use the auxiliaries, the verb NEVER goes in the “s” form. It always uses the simple form.
- Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
- I am thirty one years old.
Whenever you want to express something that you usually do please remember to use the present simple. We use this tense to express actions that form part of a routine.
- Miguel gets up at about 6:00am. (This happens constantly)
We can use the Adverbs of Frequency to help up emphasis a routine. (IR A LECCION 13 BASICO)
- How often do you go dancing? – I sometimes go dancing.
Remember: DO NOT USE THE PRESENT SIMPLE TO DESCRIBE AN ACTION THAT IS NOW
Look at the following table: TABLE #1:
Can you find the differences between the first and second ? Why do we use the auxiliaries do, does, don’t and doesn’t in the second column? When do we use them?
We use the auxiliaries with the verbs that are NOT to be in the present simples in NEGATIVE and QUESTIONS forms
The verb to be denotes a state or a condition and it does not denote an action.
These include ALL the verbs that are NOT the verb to be
- I am play tennis (incorrect) ————- I play tennis (correct)
- Pablo isn’t study English(incorrect) ————- Pablo doesn’t study English (correct)
- You live in Bogota? (incorrect) ————-Do you live in Bogota?(correct)
- She doesn’t plays (incorrect) ————- She doesn’t play (correct)