Present simple

1: We use the present simple when something is true.

  • Spain is hot in summer.
  • It snows in winter here.
  • Two and two make four.

2: We also use this tense for a situation that is permanent. (Visit the Present continuous for temporary situations.)

  • I live in Spain.
  • Where do you work?
  • I don’t eat chocolate.

3: We use it to refer to habits or things we do regularly. We can use adverbs of frequency (such as “always” “often” and “sometimes”), as well as expressions like “every Saturday”, “twice a year”, “once a fortnight, etc.

  • Do you smoke?
  • I go to the pool every Saturday.
  • I don’t travel very often.
  • I never eat peas.

4: We also use the present simple to describe a film or book, and sports commentaries.

  • The hero gets into the car and drives away at top speed.
  • He passes the ball back to the goalie who then kicks it across the field to the left wing!

Future Uses
5 – We use the present simple to talk about the future when we are discussing a timetable or a fixed plan. Usually, the timetable is fixed by somebody else, not by us.

  • The holidays begin next week.
  • At what time does the film start?
  • The plane doesnt arrive at nine; it arrives at half past eight.

6 – We also use the present simple to talk about the future after words like ‘ ‘when’, ‘until’, ‘after’, ‘before’ and ‘as soon as’. These are sometimes called subordinate clauses of time.

  • I will call you when I have time
  • I won’t have dinner until the match finishes.
  • I’m going to make dinner after the news finishes.

Conditional Uses
7 – We use the present simple in the first and the zero conditionals. (See the conditionals section for more information.)

If it rains, we won’t go out.


back to grammar page