We use past tense to talk about:
–> something that happened once in the past:
- I met my wife in 1983.
- We went to Spain for our holidays.
- They got home very late last night.
–> something that happened again and again in the past:
- When I was a boy I walked a mile to school every day.
- We swam a lot while we were on holiday.
- They always enjoyed visiting their friends.
–> something that was true for some time in the past:
- I lived abroad for ten years.
- He enjoyed being a student.
- She played a lot of tennis when she was younger.
–> we often use phrases with ago with the past tense:
- I met my wife a long time ago.
The form of the Past Simple is the same in all persons.
We use did to make questions with the past tense.
We use did + subject + infinitive (without to) in all persons:
- When did you meet your wife?
- Where did you go for your holidays?
- Did she play tennis when she was younger?
- Did you live abroad?
But look at these questions with who:
- Who discovered penicillin?
- Who wrote Don Quixote?
- Did you like the film? No, I didn’t.
- Did she enjoy the party? Yes, she did.
We use didn’t (did not) to make negatives with the past tense.
We use didn’t + infinitive (without to) in all persons:
- They didn’t go to Spain this year.
- We didn’t get home until very late last night.
- I didn’t see you yesterday.
- work –> works
- live –> lives
Some verbs have present simple spelling changes for third person (he/she/it):
Verbs that end in -s, -sc, -ch, -x:
- kiss –> kisses
- push –> pushes
- watch –> watches
- relax –> relaxes
Verbs that end in -y:
- study –> studies
- try –> tries
- marry –> marries
- cry –> cries
-y doesn’t change to -ies if the ending is -ay, -ey, -oy, -uy:
- play –> plays
- say –> says
- buy –> buys
- enjoy –> enjoys
- stay –> stays
The present tense is the base form of the verb:
- I live in Sofia.
- You are the best!
- We like ice cream.
- They go to the cinema.
But the third person (he/she/it) adds an -s:
- He listens to rap music.
- She plays the piano.
We use the present tense to talk about:
1. Something that is true in the present:
- I‘m 30 years old.
- You work in the office.
- We go lunch.
- They sleep in different places.
- Gorge hurries for work.
- Anna goes to the trade centre.
2. Something that happens again and again in the present:
- I go to the cinema every month.
- She goes to the gym every day.
We use words like sometimes, often, always and never (adverbs of frequency) with the present tense:
- I sometimes write at my blog.
- Anna often eats a vegetarian sandwich.
- I and Anna always go to bed early.
- George never shaves his beard.
3. Something that is always true:
- The adult human body contains 206 bones.
- Spanish national anthem has no words.
- Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second.
4. Something that is fixed in the future:
- I go to the theatre next week.
- Anna comes to Bulgaria next year.
- The bus leaves at 19.00 tomorrow evening.
Questions and negatives
With the present tense, we use do and does to make questions. We use does for the third person (he/she/it) and we use do for the others. We use do and does with question words like where, what and why.
- Where do you live? (I live in Sofia.)
- Does George watch movies? (Yes, he does.)
- Where do they work? (They work in the business centre.)
- What does she do in her free time? (She reads books, watches movies and goes to the gym.)
- What do you do in your free time? (I relax, read, play on the video game.)
- What kind of music do they like? (They like pop music and jazz.)
- Do you watch movies? (Yes, I do.)
But look at these questions with who:
- Who lives in Sofia?
- Who plays football at the weekend?
- Who works at Liverpool City Hospital?
With the present tense, we use do and does to make negatives. We use does not (doesn’t) for the third person (he/she/it) and we use do not (don’t) for others.
- I like tennis, but I don’t like football.
- I don’t have a car, but I have a bicycle.
- They don’t live in a flat. They live in a house.
- We don’t go to work by bus.
- George doesn’t like his job.
- Anna doesn’t do exercise.