A. Simple Present Tense
The Simple Present Tenses are used to show permanent characteristics of people and events or what happens regularly, habitually or in a single completed action. We use the present simple to talk about things in general. We are not thinking only about now. 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:
· Nurses look after patients in hospitals.
· I usually go away at weekends.
· The earth goes round the sun.
S + To be ( am, is, are ) + …..
S + Verb I + ( s / es) + …..
Remember that we say: he/she/it –s. Don’t forget the s:
· I work … but He works… They teach… but my sister teachers…
We use do/does to make questions and negative sentences:
· I come from Canada. Where do you come from?
· ‘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 cold climates.
In the following examples do is also the main verb:
· ‘What do you do?’ (=What’s your job?) ‘I work in a shop.’
· He’s so lazy. He doesn’t do anything to help me. (not ‘He doesn’t anything’)
We use the present simple when we say how often we do things:
· I get up at 8 o’clock every morning. (not ‘I’m getting’)
· How often do you go to the dentist? (not ‘How often are you going?)
· Ann doesn’t drink tea very often.
· In summer John usually plays tennis once or twice a week.
v I promise / I apologise etc.
Sometimes we do things by saying something. For example, when you promise to do something, you can say ‘I promise…’; when you suggest something , you can say ‘I suggest …’. We use the present simple (promise/suggest etc.) in sentences like this:
· I promise I won’t be late. (not ‘I’m promising’)
· ‘What do you suggest I do?’ ‘I suggest that you…’
In the same way we say: I apologise… / I advise… / I insist… / I agree… / I refuse… etc.
The Simple Present Tense takes the same form as the infinitive of a verb. The simple present tense takes –s or –es when the subject is the third person singular.
· He takes English lesson everyday.
· She watches TV every evening.
Ø Time signals for the Simple Present Tense are:
As a rule
In the morning
Once in while
Now and then
Once in week
B. Simple Past Tense
The Simple Past Tense is used to indicate an action that took place in the past (strictly speaking: before now) with emphasis on the time the action took place.
S + To be ( was/were ) + …..
S + Verb II + …..
Very often the past simple ends in –ed (regularly verbs):
· I work in a travel agency now. Before that I worked in a shop.
· We invited them to our party but they decided not to come.
· The police stopped me on my way home last night.
· She passed her examination because she studied very hard.
But many verbs are irregular. The past simple does not end in –ed. For example:
· Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces of music.
· We saw Rose in town of few days ago.
· I went to the cinema three times last week.
· It was cold, so I shut the window.
In questions and negatives we use did/didn’t + infinitive (enjoy/see/go etc.):
· A : Did you go out last night?
B : yes, I went to the cinema but I didn’t enjoy the film much.
· ‘When did Mr.Thomas die?’ ‘About ten years ago’.