‘Simple’ is used in various ways to explain grammar.

  • Simple can be used to classify sentences based on the internal clause composition.  Simple sentences are traditionally differentiated from complex or compound sentences.  A simple sentence often has one main clause.
  • Simple is also used to describe prepositions that are only one word.  More than one preposition is referred to as complex.  Some simple prepositions can function as conjunctions or adverbs.
  • Finally, there is the simple aspect related to tenses and verbs.  For example, the simple past is mostly for completed situations before the time of speaking or writing. The simple present is usually used for situations that include the time of speaking or writing.  There are many other uses of the simple tenses…

subject + verb

A1 point 2 in the category of CLAUSES is defined: simple affirmative declarative clauses For example: We‘re different. People see us as being different anyway. listen Also at A1 is: negative statements of the main verb ‘be’, with contracted and uncontracted forms. For example: I‘m not a doctor. listen *The English Grammar Profile examples contain the verb ‘BE’. An iWeb search for: _NN _VB …

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present simple (future)

Here are some examples of how the present simple tense is used in planning a future event that is also on a regular schedule or timetable.

Tell me about our date.
Well, how about dinner and this movie that BEGINS at 7 pm.
Tonight? I thought it IS on Saturday.

present perfect simple (unfinished)

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 20 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect simple: UNFINISHED refer to a state or period of time which is unlimited or indefinite. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I have already gotten several wrong numbers this month. Japanese female level 4 grammar class   EXPERT EXAMPLES: It‘s been proven to me time and time again as people have walked up to me this week  simply because of what I‘m wearing, and we‘ve had great conversations. …

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WILL (plan)

Point 33 in the category of FUTURE is defined: future simple: FIXED PLANS WITH ‘WILL’ often with timetabled times and dates. *Also see will-future-simple PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I will go to New York on Thanksgiving day. Korean female level 2 writing class.

present perfect simple negative (YET)

Here’s a student example of ‘present perfect simple negative‘: Today I can play very well with someone, even when I haven’t played for a long time. Portuguese female level 3 writing. A2 point 5 in the category of  NEGATION/AUXILIARY VERBS is defined: negative statements of main verbs in the present continuous and present perfect with ‘be’ and ‘have’ + ‘not/n’t’. A2 point 13 in the category of PAST is defined: …

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present perfect simple (range)

There is no listing in the English Grammar Profile for a ‘wide‘ range of main verbs with present perfect simple.  So, here’s an expert example of present perfect simple using academic collocation: In the course of my professional life, I have acquired knowledge and manual skill.    ( Here are some general range points in the English Grammar Profile in the category of …

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present perfect simple + SINCE

Point 33 in the category of PAST is defined as: present perfect simple + ‘since’ to talk about duration. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I have read a lot of books about cooking since then. Chinese male, level 3 writing class.   We have been friends since we were high-school students. Korean female, level 3 writing class. An iWeb search for: _VH _VVN since *we removed ‘had’ 1 HAS CHANGED SINCE 11097 …

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ordering past events

Point 35 in the category of PAST is defined: past simple to order sequences of events in the past, in the context of narratives. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I looked at the sheet and thought about it and then I continued following my sheet. When I noticed that I should have arrived, I called my brother and he told me that I had the wrong directions. Arabic male, level 5 grammar class. Two of the EGP examples use ‘and then’ while one only uses ‘and’ to connect past …

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WISH + past simple

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 21 in the category of PAST is defined as: past simple with ‘wish (that)’ to express regret that things are not different. TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: I listen to music a lot and sometimes I wish that my life was a musical. male Spain C2 EXPERT EXAMPLES:  I wish I never called. TED There were many moments growing up where I wished that I was white. TED *Note that past perfect is also possible with …

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Point 24 in the category of PAST perfect simple: negative forms. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: At that time, I had not found my job and I had a lot of free time. Chinese male, level 3 writing class. A search on iWeb for: _VHD _XX _VVN 1 HAD N’T SEEN 10519 2 HAD NOT SEEN 8370 3 HAD N’T HEARD 6433 4 HAD N’T THOUGHT 5405 5 …

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ALWAYS + past simple

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 25 in the category of PAST simple  is defined as: habitual states or actions. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: They always went back late. Chinese male, level 3, writing class. EXPERT EXAMPLE: He would take me with him on his jobs and say, ” Come on Jo, let’s go do something to make this world a better place.”  His hands were wide and calloused, and they always reminded me of displaced tree roots. TED Both examples in the EGP follow the pattern ‘always + past simple verb’ An iWeb search …

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I suggest | apologise | recommend

Point 21 in the category of PRESENT/simple is defined: a limited range of speech act verbs, including ‘suggest’, ‘apologise’, ‘recommend’. *Some of these will clash with C1:  suggest-recommend-insist + present-simple   PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: In conclusion, I suggest that international students whose English abilities are not strong enough should study in the ELI for at least one term before attending colleges or universities. Chinese male – level 5 writing class. A search for: I suggest|recommend|apologize * …

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say | show

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 26 in the category of PRESENT/simple is defined: a limited range of reporting verbs, including ‘say’, ‘show’ EXPERT EXAMPLE: This map shows the presence of agriculture on planet Earth.   PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: Some people say that money is the root of all evil, but I disagree with it. Korean male, writing class. _P show|shows|say|says * * * We have removed lines that are not …

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I remember | believe | understand | hear (that) + CLAUSE

In the English Grammar Profile at B1, point 28 in the category of PRESENT/simple is defined: an increasing range of mental process verbs, including ‘remember’, ‘understand’, ‘believe’ A similar addition to this point is Pearson’s GSE 62 B2 speak about information acquired from others using ‘hear’ + ‘(that +)’ complement clause. I hear that John and Susie are getting married. I’ve heard that Martin ‘s lost his job. …

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