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I told you about the past and present tenses in Grammar Activation Pack 1. I also introduced you to the aspects – simple, continuous, and perfect, and showed you why the three key verbs, do, be, and have, are so important. In this Grammar Activation Pack, I am going to tell you about the first of these key verbs, do, and how it is used for the simple aspect, present tense. The simple aspect of the present tense is marked by the auxiliary verb do, even when it appears to be missing. You might want to refresh your memory of the hidden do by taking another look at Grammar Activation Pack 1. The present tense of the verb do is used for the subjects, I, we, you, and they. When we use the gender specific, third person, singular subject pronouns, he, and she, we use does. This British English grammar is essential for all students of English and the many exercises in the pack will help you master it quickly and enjoyably.
Present Simple Grammar Activation Pack 2 Key Verbs and Aspects I told you about the past and present tenses in Grammar Activation Pack 1. I also introduced you to the aspects – simple, continuous, and perfect, and showed you why the three key verbs, do, be, and have, are so important. In this Grammar Activation Pack, I am going to tell you about the first of these key verbs, do, and show how it is used for the simple aspect, present tense. Simple Aspect The simple aspect of the present tense is marked by the auxiliary verb do, even when it appears to be missing. You might want to refresh your memory of the hidden do by taking another look at Grammar Activation Pack 1. Do and Does The present tense of the verb do is used for the subjects, I, we, you, and they. When we use the gender specific, third person, singular subject pronouns, he, and she, we use does. He does. Does he? He does not. She does. Does she? She does not. When we use the gender neutral, third person, singular subject pronoun, it, we also use does. It does. Does it? It does not. Finite or Non-Finite Verbs A finite verb has a subject and can function as the root of an independent clause. An independent clause is basically a full sentence and expresses a single thought. The finite forms of do are do, does, and did. Non-finite verbs are the infinitives, the participles, and the gerunds. More about these in a future Grammar Activation Pack. The non-finite forms of do are do, doing, and done. Do as Non-FiniteVerb The key verb do can also act as a non-finite verb as well as a finite verb. The finite verb usually comes first in a sentence and the non-finite verbs (there can be several) come second. How do you do your job? Do you do online teaching? He doesn’t do anything around the house. I do do a lot of things to help my students learn. I’ll explore finite and non-finite verbs in detail in a later Grammar Activation Pack. Confusing Do When the hidden do is present, as in the next sentence, the non-auxiliary main verb pretends to be the finite verb. I do a lot of things to help my students learn. This can be a bit confusing as both the finite form and the non-finite form, do, look identical. Form a question from such a sentence, however, and the finite auxiliary do become obvious. Do I do a lot of things to help my students learn? Now we can see the previously hidden do and can easily identify the aspect as simple and the tense as present. Use of Present Simple Affirmative Let’s take a look at some examples of the affirmative present simple. I teach English. You learn English. Teachers teach English. Britlish helps you learn English. Britlish operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each of these sentences has the hidden do. You can learn more about this in Grammar Activation Pack 1. The present simple talks about things that happen all the time, things that are true, things that happen regularly, or things in general. Let’s turn these sentences into questions and the do will appear. Present Simple Closed Questions Let’s take a look at some examples of present simple closed questions. Do I teach English? Do you learn English? Do teachers teach English? Does Britlish help you learn English? Does Britlish operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? These are closed questions because you are only going to get a yes or no answer, in these cases, yes! Notice that because we use the auxiliary does to form the questions with the third person singular, the main, non-finite, verbs do not need to have the s ending. 5WH Object Questions Let’s take a look at some examples of present simple object questions using the 5WH question words. What does Britlish teach? Where does Britlish teach? When does Britlish teach? Why does Britlish teach? Who does Britlish teach? How does Britlish teach? Open or 5WH questions get you more than a yes or no response. You can learn more in the 5WH English Activation Pack. 5WH Subject Questions Subject questions don’t use do and simply replace the subject of the sentence with the question word who. Who loves Britlish? Everyone loves Britlish! Who teaches English? Richard teaches English. Who loves Britlish? Students love Britlish Subject questions using who will show you the subject. Present Simple Negative Let’s take a look at some examples of present simple negative sentences. I do not teach French. You do not learn Hittite. Teachers do not teach thinking. Britlish does not help you learn Italian. Britlish does not operate 1 hour a day, 1 day a year. Negative sentences are very easy to form as you just have to put a not after the auxiliary do. This is why it is important to understand the hidden do. Remember that in negatives, we do not find the hidden do because we need the help of the auxiliary do to form the negative.
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