Present Simple (English Grammar in Use)
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Present Simple grammar explanation from Cambridge University Press.


Welcome to English Grammar in Use. Short videos from Cambridge University Press to help you improve your English.

My name is Anna and today I'm going to be talking about the present simple.

We use the present simple to talk about things in general. Let's look at some examples and I'll explain in more detail.

This is Alex. Alex is a bus driver, but now he's in bed. He's not driving a bus, he's asleep. But most days, he drives a bus. He's a bus driver.

Drives, works, does and so on is the present simple.

We use the present simple to say that something happens all the time or repeatedly or that something is true in general. For example:

I usually go away at weekends.
The earth goes round the sun.
The cafe opens at 7:30 in the morning.

Remember, we say "I work" but "He works", "I go" but "He goes", "They teach" but "My sister teaches" and so on.

Let's look at how we use 'do' and 'does' to make questions and negative sentences. For example:

 "I come from Canada, where do you come from?" And "What does this word mean?"

We don't say "What means this word?" And here's how we use the negatives 'don't'
and 'doesn't'.

"I don't go away very often." And "Rice doesn't grow in cold climates."

In the next examples 'do' is also the main verb.

"What do you do?" "I work in a shop." "He's always so lazy. He doesn't do anything to help."

We also use the present simple to say how often we do things. For example:

"I get up at 8 o'clock every morning."
"Julie doesn't drink tea very often."
"Robert usually goes away two or three times a year."

You can also use the present simple to promise, apologise, suggest, agree, recommend, and so on. For example:

"I apologise for what I did."
"What do you suggest?"
"I recommend the new French restaurant on Hill Street."

That's all for today. Now it's over to you. Practice using the present simple by visiting and registering for a free trial of English Grammar in Use Online. For more information about English Grammar in Use products visit
Bye for now, see you next time.