English Tenses: Present Indefinite
The Tense of a verb shows the time when an action takes place.
There are three Tenses:-
(a) The Present Tense
(b) The Past Tense
(c) The Future Tense
Read the following sentences carefully:
i. Birds fly in the air.
ii. My brother flew to England last week.
iii. I shall fly a kite on Sunday.
In the first sentence the Verb ‘fly’ refers to the Present time, in the second sentence the Verb ‘flew’ refers to the action in the Past, while the Verb in the third sentence ‘shall fly’ refers to the Future.
THE PRESENT INDEFINITE TENSE
(Subject + First Form of Verb)
In the Present Indefinite (Simple Present) Tense the first form of the verb is used:
I learn my lesson.
We pray to God daily.
You fly kites.
They reach the school in time.
If the Subject is of the third person and singular in number, we add ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the first form of the verb
Zahid tells a lie. She speaks the truth
Rabis goes to school. Mrs. Zameer teaches us English.
If some verb has ‘y’ after a consonant, change ‘y’ into ‘i’ and add ‘es’ to it; as—‘carry—carries’; ‘destroy—destroys’ ; ‘pray-prays’ etc. However, this rule does not imply in the condition if ‘y’ follows a vowel in the verb.
['Do, does’ placed before the subject and the first form of the verb is placed after the subject, e.g.]
(Do/does + Subject + 1st form of the verb +……?]
Do you like your new school?
Does he know you well?
When does he get up?
If the subject of a sentence happens to be anyone of ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘you’, ‘they’ or plural nouns, put do not with them.
Similarly, if the subject is anyone of ‘he’, ‘she’, it’, does not will be used with them. Begin the sentence with ‘Do not’ in Imperative sentences; as
(Subject + do/does + not + 1st form of the Verb)
I do not tell a lie.
Do not sit here.
Riaz does not learn his lesson.
Exception — He never takes tea.
(Here the sentence means — He does not ever take tea.)
You do smoke but do not confess. He does go to the movie ; but on Sundays.
Uses of the Simple Present Tense
The Simple Present Tense is used with the words:
always, every day, every week, every month, once a week, twice a week, frequently, generally, sometimes, usually, quite often etc. and in the following cases:
(a) to express some habitual action, daily routine or custom
I go out for a walk daily.
My father always reaches the office in time.
He takes exercise in the morning daily.
(b) to express certain General/Universal, Permanent truth:
Ice melts at 0° centigrade.
The earth moves round the sun.
The rose smells sweet.
Honesty pays in the long run.
(c) (i) to express certain fact that is true at the time of speaking. Our school opens at 10 A.M. these days.
An inland letter costs seventy-five paise.
I live in Delhi.
Here comes my uncle.
(ii) In exclamatory sentences beginning with here and there to express what is actually taking place at the time of speaking.
Here comes the gardener!
There she hides!
(d) to express a situation or a fact that is permanent.
Our school faces to the North.
Agra stands on the bank of the Yamuna.
This road leads to Gujrat.
(e) (i) to narrate different actions taking place at the time of speaking.
Ahmad carries the ball.
He hits it hard and scores a goal.
(ii) to describe activities in progress when there is stress on the succession of happenings, e.g., in broadcasting commentaries or sporting events.
Naveed carries the ball.
He hits it hard and scores a goal.
(f) to narrate a past event through a dramatic narrative for the
sake of vividness.
Babur now draws his sword and attacks the enemy.
When the curtain rises, Ravana is seen sitting on his throne.
Sohrab now rushes forward and deals a heavy blow to Rustam.
Immediately, the police hurries to the place of accident.
(g) to express a planned Future action.
His marriage comes off next week.
The train steams off at 11 O’clock.
The ship sails for England next week.
I leave for Kolkata tomorrow.
Our annual examination begins on 10th March.
(h) to express a Subordinate Clause of time and condition introduced by ‘if, ‘till’ or ‘when’ in a conditional sentence.
If you run fast, you, will catch the train.
When you reach there, send me a telegram.
She will come out if you call her.
I shall wake up when the cock crows.
I shall stay here till you get ready.
(i) to begin Imperative Sentences.
Obey your teachers.
Always speak the truth.
(ii) to quote someone ; as,
Shakespeare says, “Beauty needs no ornaments”.
Shelley says, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind” ?
Browning says, “Who knows the world may end tonight”.