English as an Additional Language/Simple present tense

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The present simple tense is usually regular. Yet, there are a few exceptions, particularly with verbs ending in 'y'. Compared to most other Indo-European languages, English regular verbs have simple conjugation, because the first and second person forms are the same.

Regular Verbs[edit | edit source]

Here is an example of the form of the present simple for regular verbs, using the verb "to like":

  • I like football.
  • You like football.
  • He/She/It likes football.
  • We like football.
  • They like football.

As you can see from the example above, the infinitive only changes for the 3rd person singular, where an s is added to the end of the word.

Irregular Verbs[edit | edit source]

English has a large number of irregular verbs, most significantly the verb "to be," which you are learning throughout this textbook. Other verbs conjugate in different ways, including:

  • Verbs like can and should do not change in any present conjugation.
  • Verbs like try add ies instead of s.
  • The verb have use a completely different form in the 3rd person singular, in this case has.