Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby,
a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually
does not do.
She does not play tennis.
The train leaves every morning at 8 am.
The train does
not leave at 9am.
She always forgets her purse.
He never forgets his wallet.
Facts or Generalizations
The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will
be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations
about people or things.EXAMPLES:Cats
Birds do not like milk.
California is in America.
not in the United Kingdom.
Windows are made of glass.
Windows are not made of wood.
Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)
Sometimes speakers use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is happening or is not happening
now. This can only be done with Non-continuous Verbs and certain Mixed Verbs.
I am here
She is not here now.
He needs help right now.
He does not need help
He has a car.
NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with only one part such as Simple Past (visited), adverbs usually
come before the verb (often visited). Please remember this is different from verbs with more than one part such as Present
Completed Action in the Past
Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past.
Sometimes the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.EXAMPLES:I saw a movie yesterday.
didn't see a movie yesterday.
Last year, I traveled to Japan.
Last year, I didn't travel
A Series of Completed Actions
We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th...EXAMPLES:I finished work, walked
to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into
the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.
The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a long action
often used with expressions like "for two years," "for five minutes," "all day" or "all year."EXAMPLES:I lived in Brazil for two years.
Shauna studied Japanese for five years.
sat at the beach all day.
We talked on the phone for thirty minutes.
Habit in the Past
The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used
to". To make it clear that we are talking about a habit we often use expressions such as "always," "often," "usually," "never,"
"...when I was a child" or "...when I was younger" in the sentence.EXAMPLES:I studied French when I was a child.
He played the violin.
at the movie theater after school.
They never went to school, they always skipped.
The Simple Future has two
different forms in English, "will" and "be going to." Although the two forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often
express two very different meanings. These different meanings might seem too abstract at first, but with time and practice
the differences will become clear. Both "will" and "be going to" refer to a specific time in the future.
[WILL] + [VERB]
I will help him later.
will never help him.
NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with more
than one part such as Simple Future (will help), adverbs usually come between the first part and the second part (will never
FORM Be Going To
IS / ARE] + [GOING TO] + [VERB]
is going to meet Jane tonight.
He is definitely going to meet Jane tonight.
NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with more than one part such as Simple Future (is going to meet),
adverbs usually come between the first part and the second part (is definitely going to meet).