English Grammar Course Unit 2: Simple present Tense (I do)

Why should you study this unit?

The most common sentences in any language are the ones that convey “status”. This is so because these sentences answer the most fundamental questions like

  • Who are you?
  • Where are you?
  • Where do come from?
  • What is this?
  • Where is that?
  • How old are you?

This unit and the previous unit (Unit 1) deals with those questions and their answers. We use them all the time so make sure you get them right!

English Grammar Course Simple present Tense

A. Study this example situation:

Joseph is a bus driver. But now he is asleep in bed.
He is not driving a bus (he is asleep).
But: He drives a bus.
This is the simple present tense:
I/we/you/they drive
he/she/ (it)      drives

We use the simple present to talk about things in general. We are not thinking only about the present. We use it to say that something happens all the time or repeatedly, or that something is true in general. It is not important whether the action is happening at the time of speaking:

The earth goes around the sun.
Nurses take care of patients in hospitals.
In New York, most stores close at 6:00 p.m.
Remember that we say he/she/it -s. Don’t forget the s:
I work in a bank. Anthony works in a department store.
B. We use do/does to make questions and negative sentences:

do I/we/you/they work ?             I/we/you/they don’t work.
does he/she/it work?                   he/she/it doesn’t work.

Excuse me, do you speak English?
“Would you like a cigarette?” “No, thanks. I don’t smoke.”
What does this word mean? (not What means this word?)
Rice doesn’t grow in Alaska.
For questions see also Unit 47.

C. We use the simple present when we say how often we do things:
I get up at 8:00 every morning. (not am getting)
How often do you go to the dentist?
Mary doesn’t go out very often.
In the summer, Tom usually plays tennis twice a week.

D. Note that we say “Where do you come from?” (= Where are you from?):
• Where do you come from? (not Where are you coming from?)
• He comes from Japan. (not He is coming from Japan.)

Unit 2

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