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SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE


a. Use:

The simple present is used to describe a present situation:
--> I work in Valencia (I do now and will do for the forseeable future).
--> The Simons sisters are both very talented; Virginia writes and Vanessa paints.
--> I am English (and I always will be English).

The simple present is used to express general truths such as scientific fact, as in the following sentences:

--> The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
--> The moon circles the earth once every 28 days.
--> New technology makes it easier to learn English.

The simple present is used to indicate a habitual action, event, or condition, as in the following sentences:

--> I don’t wear white shoes (it’s my habit not to).
--> My grandmother sends me new clothes each spring.
--> Jesse polishes the menorah on Wednesdays.

The simple present is also used when writing about works of art, as in the following sentences.

--> Lolly Willowes is the protagonist of the novel Townsend published in 1926.
--> The play ends with an epilogue spoken by the fool.

The simple present can also be used to refer to a future event when used in conjunction with an adverb or adverbial phrase, as in the following example sentences.

--> Classes end next week.
--> The publisher distributes the galley proofs next Wednesday.
--> The lunar eclipses begins in exactly 43 minutes.
2. Spelling rules for adding s in the third person singular
Some verbs change their spelling when s is added in the third person singular.

a. Verbs ending in y
The English letters a, e, i, o and u are generally referred to as vowels. The other English letters are generally referred to as consonants.

When a verb ends in y immediately preceded by a consonant, the y is changed to ie before the ending s is added. In each of the following examples, the consonant immediately preceding the final y is underlined.

Bare Infinitive Third Person Singular
  study   studies
  fly   flies
  carry   carries

However, when a verb ends in y immediately preceded by a vowel, the y is not changed before the ending s is added. In each of the following examples, the vowel immediately preceding the final y is underlined.

Bare Infinitive Third Person Singular
  say   says
  enjoy   enjoys
  buy   buys

b. Verbs ending in o
When a verb ends in o, the letter e is added before the s ending. For example:

Bare Infinitive Third Person Singular
  do   does
  echo   echoes
  go   goes

c. Verbs ending in ch, s, sh, x or z
When a verb ends in a sibilant sound such as ch, s, sh, x or z, the letter e is added before the s ending. For example:

Bare Infinitive Third Person Singular
  pass   passes
  push   pushes
  watch   watches
  fix   fixes
  buzz   buzzes

3. Pronunciation of the es ending

A syllable is a unit of pronunciation, usually consisting of a vowel sound which may or may not be accompanied by consonants.

When a verb ends in a sibilant sound such as ch, s, sh, x or z, the es ending of the third person singular is pronounced as a separate syllable. The reason for this is that these sounds are so similar to the sound of the es ending, that the ending must be pronounced as a separate syllable in order to be heard clearly.

In each of the following examples the bare infinitive consists of one syllable, whereas the form of the verb used in the third person singular consists of two syllables.

Bare Infinitive Third Person Singular
  pass   passes
  push   pushes
  catch   catches
  mix   mixes

Similarly, when s is added to verbs ending in ce, ge, se or ze, the final es is usually pronounced as a separate syllable. In each of the following examples the bare infinitive consists of one syllable, whereas the form of the verb used in the third person singular consists
of two syllables.

Bare Infinitive Third Person Singular
  race   races
  rage   rages
  praise   praises
  doze   dozes

However, when s is added to a verb ending in e preceded by a letter
other than c, g, s or z, the final es is not pronounced as a separate syllable. In each of the following examples, both the bare infinitive and the form of the verb used in the third person singular consist of one syllable.

Bare Infinitive Third Person Singular
  make   makes
  smile   smiles
  dine   dines
  save   saves

4. The auxiliary Do

With the exception of the verb to be, verbs in modern English use the auxiliary do to form questions and negative statements in the Simple Present.
The Simple Present of the verb to do is conjugated as follows:

I do
you do
he does
she does
it does
we do
they do

Auxiliaries are verbs which are combined with other verbs to form various tenses. It should be noted that when an auxiliary is combined with another verb, it is the auxiliary which must agree with the subject, while the form of the other verb remains invariable.

When the auxiliary do is combined with another verb, the other verb always has the form of the bare infinitive.

a. Questions
In order to form a question in the Simple Present of any verb other than the verb to be, the Simple Present of the auxiliary do is added before the subject, and the bare infinitive of the verb is placed after the subject. For example:

Affirmative Statement Question
  I work.   Do I work?
  You work.   Do you work?
  He works.   Does he work?
  She works.   Does she work?
  It works.   Does it work?
  We work.   Do we work?
  They work.   Do they work?

b. Negative statements
In order to form a negative statement, the Simple Present of the auxiliary do followed by the word not is placed before the bare
infinitive of the verb. For example:

Affirmative Statement Negative Statement
  I work.   I do not work.
  You work.   You do not work.
  He works.   He does not work.
  She works.   She does not work.
  It works.   It does not work.
  We work.   We do not work.
  They work.   They do not work.

In spoken English, the following contractions are often used:

Without contractions With contractions
  do not   don't
  does not   doesn't

c. Negative questions
To form a negative question, the Simple Present of the auxiliary do is placed before the subject, and the word not followed by the bare infinitive is placed after the subject. However, when contractions are used, the contracted form of not follows immediately after the Simple Present of the auxiliary do. For example:

Without contractions With contractions
  Do I not work?   Don't I work?
  Do you not work?   Don't you work?
  Does he not work?   Doesn't he work?
  Does she not work?   Doesn't she work?
  Does it not work?   Doesn't it work?
  Do we not work?   Don't we work?
  Do they not work?   Don't they work?



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