Chapter 3: Simple Present

Daily Habits & Routines

alarm clock and coffee cup

Icon for Student Learning GoalsLearning Goals

At the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Add -s for the third person singular verb
  • Write yes/no questions and short answers
  • Write information questions using wh- question words
  • Add the plural marker -s ,-es, and -ies to verbs and nouns

Recognize and use

  • the simple present in the affirmative and negative
  • adverbs of frequency

Prepare Icon: Head with lightbulbPrepare

Yellow cup of coffee and funny pages from newspaper

Activity 3.1: Conversation

Directions: Ask your partner or group the following questions about your morning routines. A “routine” is a habit you usually do or a series of actions you do regularly.

  • What do you do before school?
  • Do you ever wake up late? Do you usually wake up early?
  • Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning?
  • Do you do your homework in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, or at night?
  • How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning?
  • How long does it take you to get to campus? Do you live close or far from campus?
  • How do you get to campus? Drive? Bike? Bus? Walk? Carpool? Dropped-off?

Icon for Read-chapter storyReadTwo men pointing to each other and smiling

Directions: Read this story out loud with a partner. One person reads a paragraph, then the other person reads the next paragraph. When you are finished, read the story again. This time, read the paragraphs, you did not read.


Yuri & Palani


       Hi! My name is Yuri. I am from Ukraine. I am a student at Clackamas Community College. I have a roommate. His name is Palani. He is from Laos. We live together, but we are very different.

       I wake up early at 6:00 am. Palani pushes the snooze button on his alarm clock many times, so he wakes up very late. He gets up at 7:30 am. I take a shower in the morning, but Palani takes a shower at night. I take a shower at 6:15 am. He takes a shower at 9:00 pm. I eat breakfast at home, but Palani doesn’t eat breakfast. I make coffee, and I eat cereal for breakfast. I bike to school, but Palani drives to school. I am never late. I leave at 7:30 am.  Palani leaves at 7:50 am. I arrive at school early, but Palani arrives late. I arrive at school at 7:45 am. Palani arrives at 8:05 am. Palani sometimes arrives late because he can’t find parking. We are friends, so I always save him a seat next to me. We sit with Jacques and Ana. They arrive early too. Class begins at 8:00 am.

       How often do you arrive late to class? Are you similar to me, or are you more similar to Palani?

Activity 3.2: Comprehension

Directions: Please write the answers to the questions in complete sentences.

1. What is the name of the man who is talking?


2. What is the name of his roommate?


3. What is Yuri comparing?


4. Who wakes up early? Who wakes up late?


5. What time does class begin?


6. Who arrives late? Who arrives on time?


7. How about you? Are you an early riser or a late riser?


8. What time does Yuri wake up? What time does Palani wake up?


Explore-find the grammar on your ownExplore

Activity 3.3: Noticing


Part 1 Directions: Look at the story about Yuri and Palani. Choose (by underlining or otherwise marking) the verbs you find. Don’t choose the BE verb. We are not studying that verb in this chapter.

Part 2 Directions: Complete the table with the verb forms that agree with each subject.

Verb Subject Form
1. wake up I
2. take I
3. leave I
4. arrive I

Activity 3.4: Try It Out!

Directions: Write the correct simple present tense form of the verb (in parentheses) on the line.

1. I (wake up)_________________________ at 6:00 am.

2. He (wake up)_________________________ at 7:30 am.

3. You (eat)_________________________ breakfast on the bus.

4. They (take)_________________________ a shower before bed.

5. He (take)_________________________ a shower in the morning.

6. We (go) _________________________ to a restaurant for lunch.

7. She (have)_________________________ cereal for breakfast.

8. His class at Oregon City (begin)_________________________ at 9:00 am.

9. My classes at Harmony (begin)_________________________ at 6:00 pm.

10. She (wash) _________________________ the dishes in the morning.

man and woman sharing breakfast while sitting on the floor

Discover-Explanation of grammar topicDiscover

Uses of the Simple Present

The simple present is used for talking about routines, habits, and repeated activities in the present time. We use the simple present to talk about facts, which are always true. Time expressions (e.g., every day, in the summer) and adverbs of frequency (e.g., never, sometimes, always) signal the simple present tense.

line graph showing a habit/routine happening consistently over time

What is a routine? Something you do every morning, every week, every year.

  • I brush my teeth two times a day.
  • You go to the gym three times a week.
  • He makes breakfast for my children every morning.
  • She starts work at 7:00 am.
  • They do laundry every Saturday.

What is a habit? Something you do regularly.

  • My husband reads in bed before he goes to sleep.
  • My cat wakes me up on Saturdays because he is hungry.

What is a repeated action? Action that we do more than once.

  • I shop at Winco (not every week, but I like to go there).
  • She wears shorts in the summer.

What is a fact? Something that is always true.

  • The moon revolves around the earth.
  • She has two children.
  • Vegetables are healthy.
  • Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Forms of the Simple Present

Affirmative-shows all affirmative sentencesAffirmative Statements in the Simple Present

You must add an -s to the verb with the subjects he, she, and it.

subject + verb

Subject Verb

Activity 3.5: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Write the correct form of the verbs in parentheses.

1. Yuri (wake up)______________ at 6:00 am.

2. Palani (drive)______________ to school.

3. Yuri (bike)______________ to school.Man shaving

4. Yuri (make)______________ coffee.

5. I (cook)______________ breakfast.

6. She (eat)______________ cereal.

7. Palani (take)______________ a shower in the evening.

8. They (carpool)______________ together.

9. She (ask)______________ for a pencil.

10. Yuri and Palani (attend) ______________ Clackamas Community College.

11. We (attend) ______________ Clackamas Community College.

12. I (take)______________ a shower in the morning.

13. He (make)______________ and (drink)______________ coffee every morning.

14. She never (arrive)______________ late.

15. Class (begin)______________ at 11:30 am.

16. He usually (find)______________ parking easily.

17. Palani (live)______________ with Yuri.

18. They (brush) ______________ their hair in the morning.

19. We (brush)______________ our teeth twice a day.

20. My cats (sleep)______________ all day.

Activity 3.6: Listening

Directions: Read the paragraph. Then, listen to your instructor read the paragraph. Listen for the verbs and write them on the line. Listen closely for the correct form of the verb.

Ana and Pedro’s Morning Routine

        Ana and Pedro (1)__________ at 6:00 am. Ana (2)__________ coffee. Her brother, Pedro, (3)__________breakfast. She (4)__________a shower at 6:30 am. Her brother (5)__________ a shower at 7:00 am. They (6)__________ and (7)__________ their teeth. Ana (8)__________ the cat. Ana (9)__________ her hair and (10)__________ makeup. Pedro (11)__________ his hair. Ana’s book bag (12)__________ready. Pedro (13)__________ his books in his backpack. Ana (14)__________lunches. Class (15)__________ at 9:00 am. Ana and Pedro (16)__________ the house at 8:30 am. They (17)__________ at school at 8:45 am. Ana (18)__________ out books from the college library before class. She always (19)__________ good books to read. Ana and Pedro (20)__________ to class at 8:55 am. Their first class (21)__________ at 10:50 am.

Activity 3.7: Interview

Part 1 Directions: Interview your partner.

1. Where do you live?


2. What time do you wake up?


3. When do you eat breakfast?


4. What do you eat for breakfast?


5. How do you get to school (walk, bus, car, etc.)?


6. What time do you go to school?


7. What time do you get home?


8. When do you go to bed?


Part 2 Directions: Write 8 sentences about your own daily routine using the same questions.

1. ________________________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________________________

3. ________________________________________________________________

4. ________________________________________________________________

5. ________________________________________________________________

6. ________________________________________________________________

7. ________________________________________________________________

8. ________________________________________________________________

Part 3 Directions: Share and compare your daily activities. Read your sentences to your partner. Your partner reads to you. See if you have the same (or different) daily activities.

Part 4 Directions: Your instructor will give you a Venn Diagram to complete. Write sentences about yourself where it says You. Write sentences about your partner where it says Partner. If you and your partner have any activities that are the same, write them where it says both.


graphic organizer-venn diagram

Adverbs of Frequency with the Simple Present

Adverbs of frequency (AoF) let us talk about how often we do something.


How often do you come to class?      I always come to class!

How often do you shop at Fred’s?     I often shop at Fred’s.

Study the chart below to learn the meanings of the following adverbs.

Adverb Frequency
always 100%
usually 70-90%
often 50-60%
sometimes 30-40%
seldom/rarely 10-20%
never 0%


Adverbs of Frequency (AoF) with the BE Verb 

With the BE verb, the AoFs are added between BE and the rest of the sentence. You will see in the next section that this is different with other verbs.

subject + BE + AoF + rest of sentence

Subject BE AoF Rest of Sentence
I am never late.
is always on time.
are sometimes early.

Activity 3.8: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Put the correct form of the BE verb followed by the AoF on the line.


The teacher (be/never) is never late to class.

1. I (be/always) _____________________________________ late.

2. He (be/never) _____________________________________ on time.

3. She (be/often) _____________________________________ busy on Saturday.

4. It (be/never) _____________________________________ cold in August.

5. You (be/usually) _____________________________________ cold in the morning.

6. We (be/never) _____________________________________ hungry in the morning.

7. They (be/seldom) _____________________________________ tired at 9:00  pm.

8. You (be/rarely) _____________________________________ late for school.

9. He (be/sometimes) _____________________________________ tired after work.

10. It (be/usually) _____________________________________ sunny in Los Angeles.

Activity 3.9: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Complete the sentences with the correct form of the BE verb and the AoF.


She (always) is always late.

1. Class (usually)___________________________ interesting.

2. They (often)___________________________ busy.

3. I (always)___________________________ friendly.

4. You (never)___________________________ hungry after lunch.

5. She (always)___________________________ hungry at 3:00 pm.

6. He (rarely)___________________________ on time for class.

7. They (sometimes)___________________________ confused in class.

8. You (often)___________________________ sleepy.

Adverbs of Frequency with Other Verbs

When we look at the sentences in Activity 3.9, we see that we are saying how often something happens. An adjective follows the adverb of frequency (AoF). AoFs give more information about a person or a situation. For example, they show how often we are hungry, tired, late, busy, or on time. Man thinking

But, what if we want to say how often we do some activity? In that case, we don’t use the BE verb. We use another verb, like eat, sleep, cook, drive, or talk.

Instead of adding the AoF after the verb, like we did with the BE verb, we add it before the verb. We do this because we are saying how often the activity of the verb happens.

subject + AoF + verb + rest of sentence

Subject AoF Verb Rest of Sentence
I always eat breakfast.
usually does his own laundry.
never walk to school.

We use the AoF to talk about how often or how frequently something happens.

How often do you eat breakfast? I always eat breakfast.

In the sentence above, we are saying how often we eat breakfast (always).

How often does he cook dinner? He usually cooks dinner.

In the sentence above, we are saying how often he cooks dinner. (usually).

How often do they walk to school? They never walk to school.

In the sentence above, we are saying how often they walk to school (never).

Activity 3.10: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Write the Adverb of frequency (AoF) and the verb in the correct form on the line.


When we use any verb except the BE verb, the AoF goes before the verb.


Miho (always/get up) always gets up at 7:00 am.

1. I (never/eat) ___________________ breakfast.

2. You (often/do) ___________________ laundry on Saturdays.

3. He (usually/swim) ___________________ on weekends.

4. She (never/sing) ___________________ karaoke.

5. It (rarely/rain) ___________________ in July.

6. They (seldom/watch) ___________________ movies.

7. We (always/do) ___________________ our homework.

8. She (sometimes/make)___________________ the bed.

Activity 3.11: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Put the AoF and the verb in the correct order.


often    Juanita (exercise) often exercises in the evening.

1. usually

Ana and Pedro (wake up) _______________________________ at 6:00 am.

2. always

Our class (start) _________________________________________ at 6:00 pm.

3. rarely

The college (cancel) ________________________ classes because of snow.

4. usually

The teacher (give) ____________________________________ us homework.

5. often

Vegetarians (eat) ________________________________________ vegetables.

6. never

The students (sleep) ____________________________________ during class.

7. sometimes

Ana (make) _________________________________________ lunch for Pedro.

8. always

Students (speak) ____________________________________ English in class.

Activity 3.12: Classmate Interview

Part 1 Directions: Ask your classmate the questions listed in the first column of the table. Your partner should use an AoF in their answer. Check (✔) the AoF they use.

How often do you… always usually often sometimes seldom / rarely never
wake up before 7:00 am?
eat breakfast?
fall asleep before 11:00 pm?
drive to work?
do laundry
on the weekend?
eat dinner before
6:00 pm?
sleep in on Sundays?
go grocery shopping
on the weekdays?
come to class on time?
do your homework
before class?

Part 2 Directions: Choose 5 of the questions (and answers) from Part 1. On your own lined paper, use the answers to write sentences about your classmate’s activities. Remember to use adverbs of frequency. Turn this in to your teacher. Write your name, the date, and Activity 3.12 on the top of your paper.


Maria always does her homework before class.

Game IconActivity 3.13: Game

Directions:The purpose of this game is to practice using adverbs of frequency. Your teacher will give you some AoF game cards (often, sometimes, never).

  • Stand up and find a partner.
  • Ask your partner a question. Begin the sentence “How often…”
  • The partner answers the question using an AoF.
  • If your partner answers your question using the AoF that you have in your hand, give your partner the card.
  • If your partner answers using an AoF that you don’t have, then change to another student and try again.
  • You can only ask two questions before you need to change partners.
  • You can only talk to the same person after you have talked with all your other classmates.
  • Talk to as many partners as you can. When you have no more cards, sit down.

The goal of the game is to give away all of your cards.


Student 1: How often do you eat french fries for breakfast?

Student 2: I never eat french fries for breakfast.

(Student 1 gives the card saying “never” to Student 2)


Student 1: How often do you do your homework?

Student 2: I usually do my homework.

(Student 1 doesn’t have a ”usually” card. Student 1 changes partners and tries again.)

Ideas for Questions: How often do you…

wash your hair?

buy a car?

eat at a restaurant?

call your brother?

walk to school?

Pronunciation and Spelling: Adding -s and -es

We add -s and -es for two reasons:

1. The word is a noun, and we are making it plural.


table → tables
chair → chairs

2. The word is a verb, and it agrees with the subject (he, she, or it–3rd person singular)


I wait → she waits
they cook → he cooks


In English the same letters can have different sounds. For example, the letter “c” can sound like /k/ in cat, but it can also sound like /s/ in ice.

For words that end in -s or -es, there are three different sounds: /s/, /z/, and /ɪz/. We can predict how the -s or -es ending will sound by the last sound of the word before we add the -s or -es ending.


When you see the two slashes / / it means that we are talking about sound. For example, the word laugh is shown as /læf/. This symbol / / shows the sounds of the word and not the spelling.
If the word ends with these sounds: This is the sound made by adding -s or -es: Examples
/f/ /k/ /p/ /θ/ or /t/ → /s/ laughs, drinks, sleeps, births, writes, gets
/b/ /d/ /g/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /ŋ/ /r/ /v/ /ð/
and all vowel sounds
→ /z/ grabs, rides, hugs, comes, runs, sings, lives, sees, goes, plays, buys, studies
/ʤ/ /z/ /ks/ /s/ /tʃ/ or /ʃ/ → /ɪz/ changes, quizzes, fixes, kisses, uses, teaches, pushes

/θ/=th as in bath   /ð/=th as in that   /ʤ/=j as in judge    /tʃ/=ch as in church     /ʃ/=sh as in wash

Activity 3.14: Pronunciation

Directions: Look at the words and sentences below. Follow the rules above and choose the final sound of the word.
Target Word Ending Sound
(Circle your choice)
1. teaches /s/
2. teachers /s/
3. asks /s/
4. kicks /s/
5. does /s/
6. reads /s/
7. watches /s/
8. begins /s/
9. pushes /s/
10. listens /s/
11. She works at a hospital. /s/
12. He lives with his sister. /s/
13. He puts the book on the table. /s/
14. She goes to school four nights a week. /s/
15. He cooks for her in the evening. /s/
16. We need boxes to move house. /s/
17. The mom buys groceries after class. /s/
18. The mom buys groceries after class. /s/
19. I sweep up the leaves on the sidewalk. /s/
20. The boys play soccer in the park. /s/

Activity 3.15: Listening

Directions: Listen to the teacher say a list of words and then sentences. You will hear each word or sentence two times. Decide if the ending sound is  /s/, /z/, or /ɪz/ and choose (by circling or otherwise marking) your choice.

1.    /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

2.   /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

3.   /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

4.   /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

5.   /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

6.   /s/       /z/      /ɪz/

7.   /s/       /z/      /ɪz/

8.   /s/       /z/      /ɪz/

9.   /s/       /z/      /ɪz/

10. /s/       /z/      /ɪz/

11.  /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

12.  /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

13.  /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

14.  /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

15.  /s/      /z/      /ɪz/

Activity 3.16: Listening & Speaking

Part 1 Directions: Identify which of the three ending sounds (/s/, /z/, or /ɪz/) is at the end of each of the target words. Write the sound symbol on the line.


Two slashes // mean sound. Use the two lines // in your answer.

/s/                /z/              /ɪz/

1.  changes _____

2.  crabs _____

3.  dishes _____

4.  touches _____

5.  helps _____

6.  books _____

7.  pencils _____

8.  sleeps _____

9.  mixes _____

10. kisses _____

11.  The students eat breakfast. _____

12.  My sister walks her dog. _____

13.  The dogs eat peanut butter. _____

14.  The student catches the bus. _____

15.  I have three cats.     _____

16.  Most teachers have pets. _____

17.  She writes a book.     _____

18.  Natasha buys food.     _____

19.  Yuri wakes up on time. _____

20.  She sees her daughter. _____


Part 2 Directions: With a partner, say the word or sentence. Your partner will point to the sound they hear.


Rule 1:

If a word ends in /s/,  /z/,  /ch/,  /sh/  or  /x/ sound    →    add -es

Only add -es for the he/she/it form of the verb (third person singular).


watch   →   watches

wash    →   washes

kiss      →    kisses

I pass out papers.    →    She passes out papers.

I wash the dishes.   →    He washes the dishes.

Activity 3.17: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Write the correct form of the verb in parentheses on the lines.


Add -es if the verb ends in /s/, /z/, /ch/, /sh/ or /x/ sounds.

1. (watch) I __________ TV in the morning, but she ________ TV at night.

2. (wash) They ________ dishes together after dinner. He ________ dishes on  weekends.

3. (fix) My father and I _________ cars together. My husband ________ the bicycle.

4. (teach) They  ________ their daughter Ukrainian. Eva ________ her son Amharic.

5. (brush) I ________ my teeth twice a day. He _______ three times a day.

6. (kiss) She _______ her husband in the morning. I ________ my children before bed.

7. (stretch) I always ________ before exercise. Viktor ________ after exercise.

8. (guess) I never ________ the answer, but Tatiana often ________ the answer.

9. (mix) She ________ Spanish and English. They _______ English and Ukranian.

10. (splash) The kids ______ in the bathtub. My daughter always ________, too.

11. (cash) I ______ my check at the bank. He _________ his check too.

12. (latch) I ________ my screen door. She ________ her screen door.

13. (notice) I always ________ mistakes. She never ________ mistakes when she writes.

14. (touch) He ________ the door. We ________ the window.

15. (brush) They  ________ their hair once a day. He _________ his hair three times a day.

16. (pass) She ________ all her classes. They ________ their ESL classes.

17. (ask) I ________ for vegetarian food. Natasha ________ for Ukrainian food.

18. (ask) He ________ a question. We ________ to play a game.

19. (watch) She ________ Jackie Chan movies. They ________ Jet Li movies.

20. (dance) I ______ twice a week. He ________ once a week.

Activity 3.18: Listening

Directions: Read the story. Then listen to your teacher read the story. Listen for the missing words and write them on the line. Remember that the subject and the verb of a sentence have to agree. If they don’t agree, you should listen again. Some verbs end in -s and some verbs end in -es.

Viktor and Tatiana

        Viktor and Tatiana (1)_________ married. They (2)_________ English at Clackamas Community College. They (3)_________ from Ukraine. Tatiana sometimes (4)_________ angry with Viktor because he doesn’t help around the house. Tatiana (5)_________ dinner and Viktor (6)_________ TV. Tatiana (7)_________ the house, and Viktor (8)_________ English.

Then Tatiana remembers that Viktor (9)_________ the car while she (10)_________ books. In the grocery store, he always (11)_________ the shopping cart. He (12)_________ for her when she is sick. He also (13)_________ the socks when they (14)_________ movies at home. On school nights, Viktor (15)_________ the dishes after Tatiana cooks. He (16)_________ her every day when they leave the house, and he (17)_________ her every night before they (18)_________ asleep. Then Tatiana isn’t angry anymore.

Rule 2:

If a word ends in a consonant plus -y, change -y to i and add -es. If the word ends in a vowel plus -y, just add -s.


Consonant + -y

Change -y to i and add -es

cry       →   cries

study   →   studies

Vowel + -y

Add -s

pay      →   pays

buy      →   buys

Activity 3.19: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Write the correct form of the verb on the line in the sentences below.

1. (study) I ___________ in the morning, but he ___________ at night.

2. (worry) He ___________ about money. I ___________ about him.

3. (cry) The cat ___________ when I leave. The babies  ___________ all the time.

4. (play) She ___________ piano. We ___________ violin.

5. (pay) I ___________ for groceries with a credit card. Tatiana ___________ with cash.

6. (stay) He ___________ after class for help. They ___________ after class to talk.

7. (stay) She ___________ at a hotel. I ___________with my mom.

8. (worry) My husband ___________ about school. I ___________ about our health.

9. (enjoy) We ___________ playing board games. He ___________ online games.

10. (say) They ___________ they are busy Friday, but she ___________ Friday is ok.

11. (fly) A bird ___________ south in winter. Birds ___________ north for the summer.

12. (buy) They ___________ paper online. She ___________ supplies at the store..

13. (fly) He ___________ to Paris today. I ___________ to Denver tomorrow.

14. (study) We ___________ before vocabulary tests. She ___________ for grammar.

15. (pay) He ___________ for 2 classes. I ___________ for 3 classes.

16. (try)     I ___________ to study 3 times a week. She ___________ to study every day.

Activity 3.20: Listening

Directions: Your instructor will give one paragraph to you and another paragraph to your partner. Listen to your partner read their paragraph and write the word you hear on the line. Then read your paragraph and your partner will write. This will help you practice adding -s and -es to verbs in the he/she/it form. Make sure one partner has a paper that says Student A at the top and the other partner has a paper that says Student B.

Using Infinitives with Like, Want, & Need

Some verbs can be combined with an infinitive (to + verb) to express a different meaning or opinion about the activity.

Verb Meaning
like + to ski (Infinitive) This shows an activity that is pleasurable or fun.
Example: I like to ski.
want + to go (Infinitive) This shows an activity that I have a desire to do.
Example: I want to go to a movie.
need + to finish (Infinitive) This shows an activity that I have to do.
Example: I need to finish my homework.

Activity 3.21: Fill-in-the-Blank

Part 1 Directions: Complete the sentences by writing like, want, or need on the line.

1. I ___________ to pay my rent.

2. She ___________ to study for the test.

3. They  ___________ to buy a diamond necklace.

4. You ___________ to have an expensive new car.

5. I ___________ to read a book before bed to help me sleep.

6. You ___________ to do your homework.

7. We ___________ to eat dessert first.

8. I ___________ to sleep until 10:00 am, but I __________ to get up because work starts at 7:00 am.

Part 2 Directions: On lined paper, write one (1) sentence for each verb (like, want, need) using “I” as the subject. Then write one (1) sentence for each verb using “he” or “she” as the subject. Turn this in to your teacher. Don’t forget to write your name, the date and Activity 3.21 at the top of your paper.

negative-how to write negative sentencesNegative Statements in the Simple Present

Negatives with the BE Verb


When we make negative sentences using the BE verb, all we need to do is add not after the form of the BE verb.


She is not the teacher.
He is not the cashier.
They are not busy.

Activity 3.22: Writing

Directions: Make these sentences negative by adding not after the verb.


He is the teacher.    →     He is not the teacher.

1. She is a hairdresser.


2. He is busy today.


3. They are from Colombia.


4. He is a contractor.


5. It is sunny.


6. They are students.


7. He is a teacher.


8. The dog is in the garden.


Negatives with All Other Verbs

Using Auxiliary Verbs

There are three auxiliary verbs in English: BE, DO, and HAVE. We will learn about BE and DO in this class. We will learn about using HAVE as an auxiliary in the next level. You have already seen the first of our three auxiliary verbs, BE, in Chapter 2. We combine the BE verb with the -ing form of the verb to create the present progressive (an action happening now).

When we make negative sentences with other verbs, we use the auxiliary verb, DO. It has two forms: do and does. The negative not comes after do or does and is followed by the base form of the main verb.

Now that we know what an infinitive form is (e.g., to walk, to sing, to eat), we can learn about the base form. The base form is the form of the verb when we remove the to from the infinitive (e.g., walk, sing, eat, etc).

The base form is the infinitive without the to. Instead of “to sing” (infinitive), the base form is sing. Do not add -s to the base verb. Let’s look at an example sentence.

subj      do/does    neg.     base verb     rest of sentence

He         does           not        sing               in the shower.

  • He is the subject
  • Does is the auxiliary verb. Do/Does agrees with the subject (3rd person singular: add -es).
  • Sing is the main verb in the base form. Do not add -s to the main verb.

subject + auxiliary DO + not + base form + rest of sentence

Subject Auxiliary DO Negative Base Form of Main Verb Rest of Sentence
do not drink coffee after 5:00 pm.

Negative Contractions

To make negative contractions, we contract the auxiliary verb and the negative.

Subject Auxiliary DO + not
do not = don’t
does not = doesn’t

Activity 3.23: Choose the Correct Form

Directions: Choose the correct form, and then write the contraction on the line. Remember that the auxiliary DO (do/does) has to agree with the subject.

1. The teacher do not / does not eat meat.                                                 ___________________

2. I am a homemaker. I do not / does not work outside my home.    ___________________

3. She is a driver. She do not / does not work in an office.                     ___________________

4. He is a vegetarian. He do not / does not eat meat.                             ___________________

5. They do not / does not drink coffee in the evening.                            ___________________

6. Palani do not / does not like to wake up early.                                     ___________________

7. Yuri do not / does not want to come to school late.                            ___________________

8. Yuri do not / does not press snooze on his alarm clock.                    ___________________

9. They do not / does not have the same habits.                                     ___________________

10. It do not / does not  look like a good book.                                         ___________________

11. The students do not / does not do their homework.                        ___________________

12. He do not / does not get good grades on tests.                                ___________________

Activity 3.24: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Write the correct form of do or does on the line.


The negative has two parts: the auxiliary DO (do/does) + the main verb.


 (do/walk)    I do not walk to school.


1. (do/sing)        She ___________ not ___________ in public.

2. (do/write)     They ___________ not ___________ on the wall.

3. (do/drive)     He ___________ not ___________ for a job.

4. (do/ask)        You ___________ not ___________ for a diamond ring.

5. (do/play)       We ___________ not ___________ guitar.

6. (do/like)        The dog ___________ not ___________ my cat.

7. (do/type)       She ___________ not ___________ fast.

8. (do/read)       He ___________ not ___________ online.

Activity 3.25: Writing

Directions: Make these sentences negative. Use full forms for numbers 1-5 and contractions for numbers 6-10.

1. I go to work at 3:00 pm.


2. She wants to eat Chinese food.


3. They have two children.


4. He has a dog and two cats.


5. You need to stand in line.


6. She finishes her homework.


7. I eat breakfast.


8. You drink coffee.


9. He drinks diet soda.


10. My car has red seats.


Activity 3.26: Interview

Part 1 Directions: Use the sentences below to interview your partner. Take notes on your own lined paper.


Student A: Tell me a food you don’t like.

Student B: I don’t like eggs.


1. Tell me a food you don’t like.kid holding his nose and sticking out his tongue

2. Tell me a movie you don’t like.

3. Tell me a place you don’t like.

4. Tell me a sport you don’t like.

5. Tell me a color you don’t like.

6. Tell me a singer or band you don’t like.

7. Tell me a type of music you don’t like.

8. Tell me a book you don’t like.


Part 2 Directions: Now, write 5 sentences about your partner. Use your notes to help you.  Write your partner’s answers in FULL sentences.


She doesn’t like eggs.


1. ________________________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________________________

3. ________________________________________________________________

4. ________________________________________________________________

5. ________________________________________________________________

Question-how to make questionsYes/No Questions & Short Answers

Yes/No questions mean that the answer to the question is either yes or no. These questions don’t use wh- question words. Remember, when we use an auxiliary verb, the main verb is in the base form. The auxiliary verb goes before the subject and the main verb goes after the subject.

auxiliary DO + subject + base verb + rest of sentence

Auxiliary DO Subject Base Form of Main Verb Rest of Sentence
Do I
eat breakfast?
Does he

Short Answers

Short answers are quick answers to yes/no questions. Remember that if the question uses the BE verb, use the BE verb in your answer. If the auxiliary DO is used in the question, then use DO in the answer.


Do you have cats?    Yes, I do.

Are you a teacher?    Yes, I am.

Affirmative Negative
Yes, I
do. No, I
do not.
does. he
does not.


Do you drink coffee in the morning?      Yes, I do.

Does he drink coffee in the morning?    No, he doesn’t.

Activity 3.27: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Complete the questions with the missing auxiliary verb and subject.


A: Does she wake up early?

B: No, she doesn’t.

1. A:___________________ do her homework every day?

B: Yes, she does.

2. A:___________________ wash the dishes after dinner?

B: Yes, he does.

3. A:___________________ eat dinner together?

B: Yes, they do.

4. A:___________________ work late every day?

B: No, she doesn’t.

5. A:___________________ drive to school?

B: Yes, he does.

6. A:___________________ study vocabulary?

B: Yes, I do.

7. A:___________________ eat lunch at home?

B: No, we don’t.

8. A:___________________ ask questions?

B: Yes, she does.

9. A:___________________ practice English at the grocery store?

B: Yes, I do.

10. A:___________________ do laundry on Saturdays?

B: Yes, he does.

Game IconActivity 3.28: Game

Directions: The goal of this game is to get rid of all your cards. Your instructor will give you a set of “yes” cards and “no” cards. You will ask your classmate a yes/no question. If your classmate says no to the question, give them a card that says no.  If your classmate says yes, give them a card that says yes. After you ask a question, your partner asks you a question. Then change partners and ask more questions. The first person to give away all of their cards is the winner.

Information Questions in the Simple Present

We have seen several lists of wh-question words in previous chapters. Here is a bigger list. You can practice making questions with the new words and review the ones you have seen in Chapters 1 and 2.

Wh- Question Word Asks about... Example Question
Who a person Who is your teacher?
What information What is your name?
Where location Where are you from?
What time
*(specific and general)
When is your birthday?
What time is your class?
Why a reason Why are you late?
How directions, process,
or means
How do you get home?
How many a number How many children
do you have?
How often frequency How often do you drink coffee?
How much an amount or money How much is our textbook?
What kind one from a group What kind of fruit
do you like?

*What time asks about specific time. When asks about general time.


What time does class start?     Class starts at 9:00 am.


When is your birthday?         My birthday is in August.

We form information questions (sometimes called wh- questions) the same as yes/no questions. Add the question word (who, what, where, when, what time, etcetera) to the beginning of the question.

wh- + auxiliary DO + subject + main verb

Wh- Question Word Auxiliary
Subject Base Form
Main Verb
What time
How many
How often
How much
do I




does he

Activity 3.29: Choose the Correct Form

Directions: Choose the correct question word.

1. Who/What is your teacher?                            My teacher is Susan.

2. Where/What is your address?                        My address is 19 Molalla Ave, Oregon City.

3. Where/When do you wake up?                      I wake up at 7:30 am.

4. Why/Who do you have an umbrella?           Because it’s raining.

5. How/Where do you take ESL?                         I take ESL classes at CCC.

6. When/What do you work?                               I work at 5:00 pm.

7. Why/How do you get to school?                     I take the bus.

8. What/How do you cook hotdogs?                 I boil them, but some people grill them.

9. How much/How often milk do you want?   I want 1 cup.

10. How many/Why cookies do you want?       I want 2 dozen.

Activity 3.30: Fill-in-the-Blank

Directions: Fill in the blank with the correct question word.

1. A:___________ do you go to work?

B: I go to work at 5:00 am.

2. A:___________ is he wearing a sweater?

B: He’s cold.

3. A:___________ do you study vocabulary?

B: I use vocabulary cards.

4. A:___________ are they from?

B: They’re from Italy.

5. A:___________ are you doing?

B: I’m doing my homework.

6. A:___________ often do you sleep in?

B: I sleep in on Saturdays.

7. A:___________ time does class start?

B: Class starts at 6:00 pm.

8. A:___________ do you study?

B: I study at the library.

9. A:___________ is your favorite actor?

B: My favorite actor is Brad Pitt.

10. A:___________ many classes do you take?

B: I take three classes each term.

Activity 3.31: Interview

Directions: Your instructor will give you a worksheet that you can use to interview a classmate.

  • Match the wh-question word with the question. You can only use a word one time.
  • When you finish matching you will have 10 questions and 10 answers. Choose 5 questions to ask your classmate.
  • Write the answers to the 5 questions below.

1. ___________________________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________________

4. ___________________________________________________________________

5. ___________________________________________________________________

Review IconReview

Activity 3.32: Error Correction

Directions: There are 10 mistakes in the paragraph below. Find the mistakes with the simple present, adverbs of frequency, negative sentences, or -s / -es endings and correct them.

My name is Jacques. I lives next to Yuri and Palani. I am a student at CCC also. I arrive always early to class. My brother drive me to school. I do not drives. I eat lunch with my friends. We eat often at Ana and Pedro’s house. I doesn’t cook. After class, always I study in the library. I finishes my homework in the afternoon. I study with my friend. My friend Palani finish his homework at night. I live with my family. My mother cook dinner for the family. She wash the dishes after dinner. I dry them.

Man smiling with arms crossed

Activity 3.33: Writing

Directions: Rewrite these sentences to include the adverb of frequency (AoF) in parentheses.

1. (usually) We eat dinner outside in summer.


2. (always) I wear slippers in the house.


3. (never) My family wakes up early.


4. (sometimes) My friends and I watch movies on Fridays.


5. (rarely) We eat uncooked food.


6. (often) They are late to class.


7. (never) I finish my homework on the computer.


8. (seldom) She takes her dog to the dog park.


9. (usually) You are on time.


10. (rarely) She eats fast food.


11. (never) It snows in August.


12. (always) It rains in October.


13. (often) We have homework.


14. (never) They forget books at home.


Activity 3.34: Writing

Directions: Write the question on the line below. Use the answer for extra information. Some questions are wh-questions, and some are yes/no questions.


Yes/No questions usually have short answers.


1. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: I wake up at 8:00 am.

2. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: Yes, I do (I have a dog.)

3. A:_______________________________________________________________

B: My birthday is in August.

4. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: No, I don’t. (I don’t do my homework in the morning.)

5. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: I take a shower in the morning.

6. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: I arrive early for class.

7. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: He drives to school.

8. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: He washes the dishes every day.

9. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: Yes, I do. (I exercise 3 times a week.)

10. A: ______________________________________________________________

B: I eat fast food once a month.

Write-End of chapter writing assignmentWrite

Directions: Write a paragraph comparing your daily schedule with a partner’s daily schedule. Use the simple present tense, adverbs of frequency, and time expressions.


  • Write 6 questions to ask your partner. Use 6 different wh-question words. There is a place to write each question in the chart that follows.
  • Answer the 6 questions for yourself.
  • Choose a partner, ask your questions, and then write down your partner’s answers.


What time do you eat breakfast?
When do you go grocery shopping?
Question My Answer Partner’s Answer


  • Use your own 8.5″ x 11″ lined paper. Do not use other paper sizes, please.
  • Heading: Put your full name, the due date, and Ch. 3 Writing Assignment at the top of your paper. Your instructor will tell you where the heading goes (left or right side).
  • Indent the first sentence, skip lines (double space), and leave a 1-inch margin on the sides and bottom.

Writing and Grammar:

  • First sentence: begin writing by using this topic sentence: [Partner’s name] and I are classmates, but we are very different.
  • In your sentences, write your answer and your partner’s answer.


I always wake up at 6:00 am. My partner wakes up at 8:00 am.
  • Use 3 adverbs of frequency.
  • Write 2 negative sentences.
  • Use full forms; do not use contractions.
  • Use capital letters and punctuation correctly.
  • Use the rubric below to check your work.

Model Paragraph:

My partner and I are classmates, but we are very different. I get up very early at 5:00am. My partner doesn’t get up early. She often gets up at 9:00am. I usually drink coffee in the morning, but my partner doesn’t like coffee. She likes tea instead. I have two children, so I am busy with them. My partner is married, but she doesn’t have any children. I leave for school at 8:30am. My partners never goes straight to school. She goes to her parents house first. She always helps them because they are very old. My parents are still young at age 50 and 55.

Assignment Rubric:

Heading: Full Name, Due Date, Ch. 3 Writing Assignment 1 point
Format: Indent, double space, margins 1 point
Your paragraph has at least 10 sentences 1 point
Every sentence has a subject and verb, & they agree 1 point
There are 3 adverbs of frequency 3 points
There are 2 negative sentences 4 points
Correct use of spelling 1 point
Correct use of capital letters 1 point
Correct end punctuation 1 point
Total 14 points

Self AssessmentSelf-Assessment

These were our goals at the beginning of Chapter 3:

At the end of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Add -s for the third person singular verb
  • Write yes/no questions and short answers
  • Write information questions using wh- question words
  • Add -s , -es, and -ies to verbs and nouns

Recognize and use

  • the simple present in the affirmative and negative
  • adverbs of frequency

Directions: Choose yes if you think you achieved the goals or no in the table below if you think you did not achieve the goals. Then, write an example of the goal in the last column.

I can… I achieved this goal: My example:
add -s for 3rd person singular yes


He walks.
write an affirmative sentence
in the simple present


write a negative sentence in the simple present yes


write yes/no questions using the simple present yes


answer yes/no questions using short answers yes


make information questions using wh- question words yes


use AoF with the simple present yes




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Explorations 1: Grammar for the Experienced Beginner by Susan Caisse, Jennifer Rueda, and Kristee Emens-Hesslink is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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