10 minutes to recognize the present simple and the past simple

by Johnny Jacks
Continuing our series of lessons on tenses, we will now guide you in recognizing the simple present and simple past tenses. We have provided sample exercises for you to self-assess the knowledge you have acquired.

Recognizing Simple Present and Simple Past Tenses

The simple present and simple past tenses are two fundamental grammatical forms that depict actions at different points in time. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the key indicators and verb conjugations for regular verbs and the verb ‘to be’ in order to apply them accurately in academic and everyday communication.

Case 1: Regular Verbs

Criteria

Simple tense

Simple past

Structure

Claim: S + V(s/es) + O

Negative: S + do/does not + V_inf + O

Question: Do/Does + S + V_inf + O?

Assertion: S + V2/ed + O

Negative: S + didn’t + V_inf + O

Question: Did + S + V_inf + O?

Signal

know

In sentences, you will find adverbs of frequency, such as ‘always,’ ‘often,’ ‘usually,’ ‘sometimes,’ ‘every day/week/month,’ and more.”

The sentence includes words such as ‘ago,’ ‘yesterday,’ ‘last day/month/year,’ and so on.

Conjugation

Regular verbs:

– Add (s) after most verbs.

– Add (es) after verbs ending in ch, sh, x, s, o.

– Verbs ending in (y)

Before (y) is a vowel: add (s)

Before (y) is a consonant: (y) => (i) + (es)

Irregular verbs:

have => has

Regular Verbs:

  • Add ‘ed’ after most verbs.
  • Add ‘d’ after verbs ending in ‘e.’
  • For verbs ending in ‘y,’ if ‘y’ is preceded by a vowel, add ‘ed.’ If ‘y’ is preceded by a consonant, change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘ed.’
  • For one-syllable verbs ending with a consonant followed by a vowel, double the final consonant and add ‘ed.’

Irregular Verbs:

Some verbs in the past tense do not follow the ‘ed’ pattern but instead form unique past tense forms. You can refer to a list of 360 irregular verbs for more details.

Case 2: For the verb TOBE

Criteria

Simple tense

Simple past

Structure

Affirmative: S + am/is/are + O

Negative: S + am/is/are not + O

Question: Am/is/are + S + O?

Affirmative: S + was/were + O

Negative: S + was/were + not + O

Question: Was/were + S + O?

Signal

know

In sentences, you can find adverbs of frequency, including: ‘always,’ ‘often,’ ‘usually,’ ‘sometimes,’ ‘every day/week/month,’ and more.

The sentence contains words such as ‘ago,’ ‘yesterday,’ ‘last day/month/year,’ and so on.

In conclusion, recognizing the present simple and the past simple tenses is a fundamental skill in mastering English grammar. These tenses are the building blocks of effective communication and are used extensively in both written and spoken language. By understanding their usage and practicing the exercises provided, you are well on your way to becoming proficient in using these essential tenses. Keep practicing, and your command of English grammar will continue to improve, opening up new opportunities for effective communication and expression. Happy learning!

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