AEM Academy

Present Simple

Present simple, the most commonly used verb tense, is mainly used for routine actions and things that are always/generally true. In other words, it's used when time doesn't matter.  

Purpose: Present simple is used for general facts, daily routines, and beliefs. In these cases, time doesn’t matter. 

Active voice:   

  • The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. 
  • I usually pick her up at 3:30. 
  • These bagels are fresh. We bake them every morning.  
  • Some people believe this new policy is a good idea.  

Passive voice:  

  • These bagels are baked every morning.  
  • This new policy is believed to be a good idea. 
  • It is believed that this new policy is a good idea. 

Common mistake #1: Subject-verb agreement for 3rd person singular verbs

By far, the most common mistake in English grammar is subject-verb agreement (SVA) for third person singular (he, she, it). The grammar rule is completely illogical. You just have to remember it:  

  • I love pizza. 
  • You love pizza. 
  • He/She loves pizza. 
  • We love pizza. 
  • They love pizza. 

Common mistake #2: Subject-verb agreement (SVA) with long subjects containing both singular and plural words

Grammar rule: Sometime long subjects have both singular and plural words. With long subjects, look at the first noun/noun phrase of the full subject and decide whether it's a single or plural idea. 
In the two examples below, the complete subject is underlined; the noun/noun phrase at the beginning is bolded:   

  1. Practical subjects such as automotive repair and culinary arts BENEFIT the students more. 
  1. Teaching practical subjects such as automotive repair and culinary arts BENEFITS the students more.