Simple Form (Aspect)

Simple Form
The simple form is used when something happens and then ceases to happen.

  • In the past an action took place but now does not.
  • In the future an action will happen but now is not happening.

The Simple Present
The simple present tense used when an action is happening at the present moment, or when it happens regularly or does not cease happening. The simple present tense is formed by using the infinitive (or root form) except in the to be forms of the verbs.

  • I am
  • You are
  • I write
  • They play

When talking about the 3rd person the simple present adds ‑s or ‑es to the end.

  • He plays
  • She studies

The Simple Past
The simple past refers to things that happened in the past, and are no longer doing it.

  • I was in Tokyo
  • You cooked dinner
  • He built a house

Regular verbs are changed by adding a V+ed or in the case of the verb ending in e d is added Ve +d, onto the root form.

  • I cook – I cooked
  • They listen – They listened
  • we love – we loved

Irregular verbs are a little more difficult, and you either have to learn them by heart, or check a dictionary.

  • I see – I saw
  • You build – You built
  • They do – They did

Some verbs don’t change from their present form.

  • He Put – He put
  • It Cut – It cut
  • It Cost – It cost

The Past Simple is often taught as Verb 2 in ESL classes. Students will spend hours memorising and chanting irregular verbs. In order to learn them.

Verb 1 Verb 2 Verb 3
Regular work worked worked
Regular study studied studied
Regular bake baked baked
Irregular sing sang sung
Irregular go went gone
Irregular build built built
Irregular cut cut cut

The Simple Future

The simple future is the tense we use when something will begin and end at later time. It’s created by putting will in front of the root word.

  • I will go to Tokyo
  • You will cook dinner tonight
  • He will build a house
  • Will you come tonight?

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