Go Back to English Verb Tenses
The Simple Present
[VERB] + s/es in third person
The simple present is used in a variety of ways in English:
1. The simple present is used to describe an action that is happening right 'now', however, this only applies to certain verbs. These verbs include:
These verbs express abstract concepts and (most often) can not be used in the continuous/progressive tense or the passive voice.
For example: to be, to want, to cost, to seem, to need, to care, to contain, to owe, to exist
She is a doctor.
(For example, the sentence "She is being a doctor." is grammatically incorrect X)
Stephen owes me fifty dollars.
The bottle contains milk.
The universe exists.
Verbs of Possession
These types of verbs indicate that the subject "has" or "owns" something.
For example: to possess, to have, to own, to belong
They own a cottage in Muskoka.
The government possesses all the land in this town.
That pen belongs to Marsha.
Yes, I have a lighter.
Verbs of Feeling
These verbs express emotions, state of being, feelings, or conditions.
For example: to like, to love, to hate, to dislike, to fear, to envy, to mind, etc.
That couple really loves each other.
You look wonderful! I envy your figure!
Ugh! I dislike vegetables.
Do you mind if I sit here?
She fears that she'll be late for the meeting.
We feel tired today.
These verbs can be used in the continuous and/or non-continuous tense.
to appear, to hear, to feel, to look, to have, to see, to weigh, to taste
Something looks strange around here.
It is also possible to say: You're looking pale! Are you ok? (continuous)
Wow! This beef tastes delicious!
It is also possible to say: I'm tasting the soup you made. It's good, but add some salt. (continuous)
Did you hear that noise?
It is also possible to say: We are hearing strange noises from the attic (continuous)
I see what you're saying.
It is also possible to say: I'm seeing red dots! I think I'm sick. (continuous)
They think we shouldn't go out tonight.
It is also possible to say: We are thinking about eating dinner late tonight. (continuous)
Practice this usage in sentences and/or a role play scenario.
Describe a typical day in your life, how you feel right now, some of your preferences in food, music, usual activities, etc. Describe some preferences in food, music, usual activities, etc. of your spouse, family member, and/or friend. Practice all forms of the verb.