This lesson is in two parts. Part 1 explains how to form the simple present. Page 2 explains how the simple present functions in English. Before continuing, review this lesson: Introduction to verbs.
In English, there are only two simple present conjugations for all verbs except the verb BE, which has three conjugations, and modal verbs, which have none.
Here is an example with the verb EAT.
|third person||he, she, it||eats||they||eat|
Note that the third person singular form has the morpheme -s added to the base form of the verb. All the other persons are the same. There are a few irregularities regarding the third person singular but they are very simple to understand and the same rules that apply to making singular nouns plural. Here are the rules:
For verbs that end in -ch, -o, -s, -sh, and -x, add -es to create the third person singular.
|3rd per||he, she, it||teaches||they||teach|
|3rd per||he, she, it||goes||they||go|
|3rd per||he, she, it||focuses||they||focus|
|3rd per||he, she, it||washes||they||wash|
|3rd per||he, she, it||mixes||they||mix|
For verbs that end in a vowel + y, add -s.
|3rd per||he, she, it||says||they||say|
If the verb ends in a consonant + y, change y to i and add –es.
|3rd per||he, she, it||studies||they||study|
Note that a change only occurs with the third person singular. All other persons have the same conjugation.
The verb HAVE is irregular. Note that -ve is replaced with -s for the third person singular.
|3rd per||he, she, it||has||they||have|
The simple present in English may be used diffently than the simple present in your mother tongue. Learn how to use the simple present by going on to page 2 of this lesson.
Warning: there are two ways to pronounce the morpheme –es, and one of them adds another syllable to the verb. Learn about these two pronunciations by visiting the page on nouns.
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