Friday, April 13, 2007

Simple present tense

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

After a long period (longer than even most medic student blogs) of no updates, it is only proper that I update this blog with something simple which is, the present tense.

The present tense is the simplest of all tenses in English because verbs retain their infinitive form in present tense. Since most verbs are learnt in their infinitive form, it is easier (at least for me) to construct sentences in the present tense.

Infinitive form of a verb is also referred to as the root word of a verb in most English classes that I have attended.


Infinitive form of slept is sleep!*
Infinitive form of ate is eat!*
Infinitive form of read is read!*

When do we use the present tense?
I don't know about other people but I use present tense to describe habits, common facts and current non-continuous occurrences.

Examples for habits:

He plays badminton every day.
He never washes his hand. Ever.

Example for factual statements:

The earth is spherical.

Examples for current occurrences:

I am here.
He is here.

Frequently asked questions on present tense:

Why do we say 'I am eating' instead of 'I eat' when we are describing that we are currently eating? Shouldn't we use the present tense instead?

abd: Because it doesn't sound right. I'm sure most grammar books would explain it better but my explanation would be is that eating is a continuous action and therefore both the verb 'to be' in its proper tense and the -ing suffix is required.

But in most anime subtitles, the verb 'to be' and the -ing suffix are usually omitted when describing a continuous action. Are you wrong?

abd: I might be wrong but I think I'm not. I don't think anime subtitles are the best material for you to be learning proper English grammar. Try BBC Learning English instead.

So, there you have it. The simple present tense. Simple is it not?

Sentences with * should be read in a very cheerful and enthusiastic manner.

Allah knows best.

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Disclaimer: I am neither an English native speaker nor a qualified English teacher.