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Unit 1.2

Present Simple – Negative


 The present simple is the tense used to talk about situations that regularly repeated or always occur.

When expressed in its negative form, the verb denies something about the subject.

The simple present tense in its negative form of the verb has this structure:
Subject + do/does + not + verb

  • Exceptions: verb “to be“;
  • Do/does: In negative form the third person singular changes from “do” to “does“;
  • Verb: Different from the affirmative form, we keep the base form of the verb without doing any changes.
I do not work don’t
You do not work don’t
He does not work doesn’t
She does not work doesn’t
It does not work doesn’t
We do not work don’t
You do not work don’t
They do not work don’t
  1. Planned future
    • don’t start my new job on the 17th of June.
    • The exam period doesn’t end on the 24th of December.
    • Their daughter doesn’t arrive in a few days.
  2. Timetables
    • The train doesn’t leave at 7 o’ clock.
    • The match doesn’t start at 9 o’clock tomorrow
    • My exams don’t start at 10 o’clock tomorrow.
  3. Habits/Routines
    • I don’t usually wake up at 8 o’clock.
    • He doesn’t go to the gym twice a week.
    • We don’t go for lunch at good restaurants.
  4. Facts
    • The sun doesn’t rise in the West.
    • Water doesn’t boil at 80°C.
    • Unicorns don’t exist.
  5. Permanent situations
    • I don’t live in Brussels.
    • She doesn’t work in a supermarket.
    • They don’t play football.
  6. Promises etc.
    • I don’t promise to buy you a new phone.
    • He doesn’t swear he’ll go to the doctor.
    • I don’t promise I’ll give you my phone number.
  7. Giving directions and instructions
    • Don’t go straight, turn left.
    • Don’t restart your mobile phone.
    • Don’t go upstairs.
  8. Completed actions that happen as we speak
    • The brigades don’t disappear.
    • The police don’t catch the thief.
    • Real Madrid doesn’t recover from two goals down.
  9. Informal narrative
    • The Beast doesn’t transform into a prince.
    • Little Snow White doesn’t fall asleep.
    • Little Red Riding-Hood doesn’t meet the wolf.

Present simple is used to form a negative answer/sentence or express refusal/denial for:

  1. Planned future (planned events with given exact date);
  2. Timetables (planned events with given exact time);
  3. Habits/routines (something that happens repeatedly in the present);
  4. Facts (things that are generally true, stated);
  5. Permanent situations (that have been happening for a while and will happen in the future);
  6. Promises;
  7. Instructions (orders);
  8. Completed actions that happen as we speak (e.g. commentaries);
  9. Informal narrative (when telling a story).

We use the present simple to talk about situations that regularly, repeatedly or always occur. When used in its negative forms, something about the subject is denied.

The present simple in its negative form has this structure:
Subject + do/does + not + verb (“does” for the third person singular).

For example:
— “I don’t live in a small flat.” = We use the present simple because we talk about a permanent situation.
— “The train doesn’t leave at 6.” = We use the present simple because we talk about a timetable.
— “Water doesn’t boil at 70 degrees Celsius.” = We use the present simple to talk about facts.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.


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