English Grammar: Simple present tense

During our English speaking courses, many people question the importance of grammar in spoken English, while some fervently support it. I guess this question can be reserved for other times. Today we are going to take a look at Simple Present Tense and it supplications in spoken English.

Simple present tense is basic tense, in general, used to talk about now.

Verb

In Simple Present Tense, a basic form of a verb is used. It changes based on the subject by adding -s/-es at the end in case subject used is third person singular.

Make a statement

A statement in simple present tense is constructed in following ways.

Subject

Auxiliary Verb

Main Verb

Object

I, you, we, they

like

coffee

He, she, it

likes

coffee

I, you , we, they

do

not

like

coffee

He, she, it

does

not

like

coffee

Structure for a positive statement, in general, can be:

Subject + Verb + Object (positive statement)

Subject + Auxiliary Verb + not + Main Verb + Object (negative statement)

Ask a question

While forming an interrogative sentence, auxiliary verb precedes subject in general. The following can be used of simple present tense in interrogative sentences.

Auxiliary VerbSubjectMain VerbObject

Do

I, you, we, they

like

coffee?

Does

He, she, it

like

coffee?

Do

not

I, you, we, they

like

coffee?

Does

not

He, she, it

like

coffee?

In general structure of interrogative sentence can be

Auxiliary verb + Subject + Main verb + Object ? (positive question)

Auxiliary verb + not + Subject + Main verb + Object ? (negative question)

Applications of Simple present tense

There are many applications of simple present tense. Following is a list of the applications in general.

1.     Mentioning facts

All facts which are indisputable are stated in Simple present tense. It doesn’t matter if they have already happened in past. What matters is if they happened yesterday, happening today and will happen tomorrow? Following are examples

The sun rises in the east.

People need food.

It snows in winter.

The sky isn’t green.

2.     Talking about habits

While talking about your daily habits you may use Simple present tense.

Do you pray GOD every day?

I play tennis every Tuesday.

We often go to the cinema.

She gets up at seven o’clock every day.

3.     Narrating about books, films, and sports

While narrating about the book you just read or films you just watched or game that you just saw, simple present tense comes handy. This is because you are trying to recreate the magic for your friends and want them re-live the experience.

The hero dies at the end of the film.

A young man travels through Europe, where he meets different people.

In this book, an army invades Britain.

The main character is very a young student and works in a bookshop.

4.     Discussing a fixed timetable or plan

Simple present tense is used in discussing routine timetables or plans.

School begins at 11.30 am tomorrow.

Our train leaves at eleven.

What time does the film start?

The train arrives at seven, it leaves at seven thirty.

5.     Expressing thoughts, feelings, and states

Thoughts and feelings are always mentioned in simple present tense since you are in that moment.

It matters a great deal to him to win the game.

They feel a lot of loyalty to the company.

Ramesh doubts the truth of his statement.

She deeply regrets saying those nasty things about him.

6.     Newspapers and headlines

Headlines employ simple present tense in order to recreate the event in your imagination.

Police discover many more dead bodies.

Something wrong in Jet Crash, expert says.

Police begin a campaign to run down Naxalites.

Drunk gets nine months imprisonment.

7.     For instructions and directions

Have you ever read instructions on your shampoo bottle, they are always in simple present tense.

Mix the flour & water together, then add sugar.

Go straight on & take your first right.

Open your books and read loudly.

Park your vehicle here.

8.     In declaration or promise

I declare this pet show open.

I promise you, I won’t do anything stupid.

I assure you everything will be all right.

I announce the program is over.

 

I hope this helps. Your likes, comments and shares are highly appreciated.

Improve your vocabulary

In this blog we are sharing our experiences on how to improve your English vocabulary. It is one of the most significant questions where English is a second language.

As an Institute which teaches Business English: Speaking and writing we are often asked this question, “What should we do, to improve our vocabulary?” Initially, I used give text-book answers which included, “Read lot of English books. Underline difficult words. Refer dictionary to understand the meaning. Try to use that word in different contexts and that’s how you can improve your vocabulary.” Over the years, I realised, this may be effective way to learn new words but not effective to retain it. English is a second Language for me and even I could not learn new words in English like this. How am I going to ask students to learn this way? My vocabulary improved when I started taking few extra efforts. I am not claiming this to be an elixir, but this improved method is surely effective.

Listen to quality English

It is a common experience that we retain a lot of information through listening. Most of us haven’t read anything beyond newspapers in years. But, we listen to radio and also watch television. Next time, instead of tuning to local dialect, tune into English channels, be little alert. Next time, while buying newspaper, look for English edition. While listening or reading, look out for difficult words. Keep a log book where you can jot these words down.

Guess the meanings

Instead of rushing towards dictionary, take a moment. Based on the context, try to guess the meanings of the word. Initially you may fail miserably. That’s alright. With time you will be able to guess the meanings more often than not. Write down sentence with your guess word into your log book.

Take the Dictionary

After guessing the meaning, take dictionary into your hands. I am sure; you may not have that fat book available everywhere, you get stuck with a word. Use your smart phone smartly. You can go to Dictionary.com or en.wiktioanry.org to find meaning of the word and its usage. Note it down into your log for future reference.

Find etymology and history

Apart from meaning and usage, looking up for etymology and history of the word helps a lot. Both sources mentioned above have these sections. Etymology helps you understand the source of a particular word. Using it, you may dissect complex word into simple words in order to make meaning out of it. History part of the word normally contains an interesting story about the word.

Advantage of referring to etymology is that you remember simple words which make complex words. Next time, a complex word appears, you can dissect it, to understand its meaning. As human beings we all love stories. We can remember them in much better way and hence retain the word for long time.

I hope you find it interesting. Please like, comment and share. Your suggestions are really important.

Usage of will and shall

Hello!

Today we shall look into difference, as far as usage is concerned, between will and shall. Most of us remember from school grammar classes that there is a difference between the two but hardly anyone can precisely tell it. Let’s have a look…

Shall is traditionally used with first person pronouns I and we. Will, on the other hand is used with first person pronouns.

I shall water the plants.

You will water the plants.

The distinction between two is blurring and the two are almost used interchangeably. New usage directs us two use will in cases where we wish to added sense of determination. Let’s take a look at following sentences..

I will go to his office and kick him.

I shall go to his office to see if he is there.

You will go to school.

You shall go to school.

This is even applicable in negative context.

I won’t go to school.

I shall not go to school.

It’s Legal

But, there are certain exceptions too. In cases where determination or duty, mostly in legal form, is to be defined, shall must be used.

You shall not leave the office before 6 p.m.

I shall take care of children.

Employees shall obey the anti-smoking policy in the office promises.

Ask or order someone

In cases of orders will is used invariably.

Will stop making that noise?

John, you will not eat chocolate today.

Ask for suggestions or advice

In British English, suggestions or advise are asked politely and hence use of shall is considered appropriate.

Shall we dance?

Where shall we go today?

Shall we go for lunch?

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Usage of may, might and must

Hello,

Today we will see the difference between may, might and must. Usage of may and might are very similar. In general both are used to describe possibilities. Choice of one is more likely in different situations, but use of both cannot be wrong completely. It is important to note that, might is simple past tense of may. Grammar pundits insist on using may in simple present tense while might in simple past tense. This is distinction is becoming blur day by day. Following are uses where may and might are replaceable with each other.

  1. Express possibility

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it may rain today.

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it might rain today.

  1. Ask permissions

May I enter your kitchen?

Might I have a chance to speak?

  1. Grant Permissions

You may enter the class.

You might speak now.

Grammar books suggest that use of may implies greater likelihood than use of might. Both are equally accepted these days. While asking permissions, may is favoured than might.

May is also used in following situation.

  • Express wish or prayer

May all your dreams come true on your birthday.

Might is used in following situations

  • Express counter facts

If they had lived in another time, their lives might have been different.

Must on other hand is used to imply compulsion or obligation. Following are its uses

  1. Be obliged

I must return his money.

  1. Necessity; need to

Humans must eat food and drink enough water in order to stay healthy.

  1. Compelled to, by law or force

You must complete to homework before you leave the class.

  1. Forced because of requirement of honesty

I must come out clean. It’s me who stolen money from your bag.

  1. Urge to do

I must attend your party.

In conclusion, use of must leaves you with no other possibility whereas use of may or might is full of possibilities. Keep liking us so that we can keep posting these new things over here.