IELTS grammar. Lesson 5: Present Simple

It is crucial to know when and how to use Present Simple tense to succeed in IELTS. Often test-takers make simple mistakes, confusing Present Simple with other tenses or writing verbs incorrectly.

To avoid such mistakes, complete this lesson and learn when we use Present Simple and how we change verbs' endings in Present Simle.

Firstly, read the theory in green box, and after that complete the exercises below.

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Present simple tense is used to:

  • express an action that is repeated and/or usual

    I play tennis, she swims, he reads books etc.

  • indicate speakers believes and facts, make generalizations about different things

    Paris is the capital of France, tables are made of wood etc.

  • talk about events in the near future

    Plane leaves at 17:30 today, classes start at 8:00 tomorrow etc.

Present simple tense is formed with the base form of the verb. To form the third person singular you need to add -s or -es at the end of the verb. Verb to have changes to has in the third person singular form.

I speak, I watch                                    We speak, we watch

You speak, you watch                           They speak, they watch

He/she/it speaks, he/she/it watches


The only exeption to this rule is the verb to be.

I am                       We are

You are                  They are

He/she/it is


Impotant note: if the verb ends in -y, the third person changes to -ies (fly -> flies, cry -> cries etc) BUT if there is a vowel before y, we write s at the end (play -> plays)


We also use present simple tense with

  • adverbs, such as: often, always, never, rarely, usually etc (He is always busy, she never listens to me),
  • expressions like: nowadays, this day, today, every day etc (Nowadays people spend a lot of time on the Internet).

Practice. Choose the correct sentence in each pair:

  1. He have a good taste.
    He has a good taste.

  2. He flies in the helicopter every week.
    He flys in the helicopter every week.

  3. They is very nice people!
    They are very nice people!

  4. He play tennis and I play football.
    He plays tennis and I play football.

  5. He is a great musician.
    He are a great musician.

Fill the gaps using the words in brackets:

  1. We TV every day. (to watch)

  2. He basketball every day. (to play)

  3. Animals their freedom, if they are kept in caves. (to lose)

  4. I don't like living here, because it always . (to rain)

  5. Don't worry, everything fine. (to be)

  6. He to complete his work in a few days, but I am sure he won't be able to. (to hope)

  7. She great pancakes every day, I love them. (to make, to eat)