• Rebekah

A Tense Situation: The Simple Present

This is the first post in my newest segment, "A Tense Situation", which delves into the exciting world of the English verb system. We'll take a look at how English gets away with having essentially only two tenses (past and present) by reviewing all the variations there of (hint: loads of participle constructions). Let's start at the top with the SIMPLE PRESENT.



Tense illustrates the relation between the verb and the time-frame, which is reflected in the form of the verb.

What is the Simple Present?


The Simple Present is used to describe habits, unchanging situations, general truths, and fixed arrangements.


Here are some example:

  1. Habits: I play tennis in my free-time.

  2. Unchanging situation: Do you work in Oslo?

  3. General Truth: The Earth is a planet

  4. Instructions: You walk straight for 2 blocks and turn left.

  5. Fixed Arrangements: Doesn't work start at 08:00 tomorrow?

  6. Future Time (+conjunctions after, when, before, as soon as, until): Will I see you before I leave?

Sentence Type Formations


Now let's break down how this tense is used in the four sentence types of the English language.


Affirmative

Usage: a statement in which the verb is used to positively

Formation: base form unchanged (or) 3rd person singular with changed ending -s/-es/-y>-ies

  • I think I like you

  • These roses smell lovely.

  • She flies planes on Sundays


Negative

Usage: a statement in which the verb is negated

Formation: 3rd person of auxiliary "to do" + not + the base of the verb

  • I do not think / I don't think I like for daisies

  • He does not believe / he doesn't believe what I'm saying, but it's the truth


Interrogative

Usage: a question in which the verb is used positively

Formation: 3rd person of auxiliary "to do" + the base of the verb

  • Do I look cute in this shirt?

  • Does he like me?

  • Do you see me over here?


Interrogative Negative

Usage: a question in which the verb is negated

Formation: 3rd person of auxiliary "to do" + not + the base of the verb

  • Don't you think he's strange?

  • Doesn't the weather bother you?


Next week we'll talk about more verb! Any questions or ideas?

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