UNIT 2. Present simple (I do)
A. Study this example situation:
Alex is a bus driver, but now he is in bed asleep. So: He is not driving a bus. (He is asleep.) but He drives a bus. (He is a bus driver.)
Drive(s)/work(s)/do(es) etc. is the present simple:
I/we/you/they drive/work/do etc.
He/she/it drives/works/does etc.
B. We use the present simple to talk about things in general. We are not thinking only about now. We use it to say that something happens all the time or repeatedly, or that something is true in general. It is not important whether the action is happening at the time of speaking:
* Nurses look after patients in hospitals.
* I usually go away at weekends.
* The earth goes round the sun.
Remember that we say: he/she/it – s. Don’t forget the s:
I work… but He works… They teach… but My sister teaches…
C. We use do/does to make questions and negative sentences:
do I/we/you/they work?/come?/do?
does he/she/it work?/come?/do?
I/we/you/they don’t work/come/do
he/she/it doesn’t work/come/do
* I come from Canada. Where do you come from?
* ‘Would you like a cigarette?’ ‘No, thanks. I don’t smoke.’
* What does this word mean? (not ‘What means this word?’)
* Rice doesn’t grow in cold climates.
In the following examples do is also the main verb:
* ‘What do you do?’ (= What’s your job?) ‘I work in a shop.’
* He’s so lazy. He doesn’t do anything to help me. (not ‘He doesn’t anything’)
D. We use the present simple when we say how often we do things:
* I get up at 8 o’clock every morning. (not ‘I’m getting’)
* How often do you go to the dentist? (not ‘How often are you going?’)
* Ann doesn’t drink tea very often.
* In summer John usually plays tennis once or twice a week.
E. I promise/I apologise etc.
Sometimes we do things by saying something. For example, when you promise to do something, you can say ‘I promise…’; when you suggest something, you can say I suggest…’. We use the present simple (promise/suggest etc.) in sentences like this:
* I promise I won’t be late. (not ‘I’m promising’)
* ‘What do you suggest I do?’ ‘I suggest that you…’
In the same way we say: I apologise…/I advise…/I insist…/I agree… /I refuse… etc.