Simple Present Explained

Simple present

In English, we use the simple present to talk about facts, habits, routines and *feelings.

Facts are statements which are true all the time.

Habits are things that we do because we really enjoy something or we can’t help ourselves, it’s programmed inside of us.

Examples of habits:

smoking, going to bed late, overeating when feeling stressed, going to the movies once a week.

Routines are things that we do in order to get something done or to simplify and improve our lives.

Example of  a routine:

Bringing a child to daycare every morning before going to work.

note: It is possible for some things to be both a habit and routine depending on the context.

More examples:

Fact: Bears hibernate.

Habit: I always bite my nails when I’m nervous.

Routine: My husband brings our daughter to daycare every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Note: We don’t use the simple present to talk about things that are happening right now. (right now = present continuous / e.g. You are reading this right now.)

Feelings* We often use the simple present to express our feelings on a more general level, especially to state a fact.


I am mad at him,            compared to:             I’m feeling so angry with him (present continuous:  in this case, the specific moment when the sentence is spoken)

I am so happy to be here.


Some keywords used with the simple present are:   often / never /rarely / sometimes / every / always / each