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