Simple Present tense – Uses

The Spanish Simple Present tense (“Presente Simple”) is the first tense you will learn in any Spanish course.

We talked about its conjugation in another post (click here to read it). Check it out if you don’t know the basic rules of conjugation.

Here we will talk about the Uses of the Simple Present tense, which are mainly:

  • Stating truths and facts
  • Habitual actions or events
  • Things happening at the moment
  • Things that will happen in the near future
  • Asking for / ordering

Let’s see a couple of examples for each use.

Stating truths and facts

La Tierra gira alrededor del Sol.

The Earth rotates around the Sun.

 

En Argentina se habla español.

They speak Spanish in Argentina.

 

Los pájaros vuelan.

Birds fly.

Habitual actions or events

Yo hago la compra dos veces por semana.

I do the shopping twice a week.

 

Mis padres trabajan en la misma oficina.

My parents work at the same office.

 

Todos los veranos viajamos a Latinoamérica.

We travel to Latin America every summer.

Things happening at the moment

For this case, it’s very frequent to use the Present Progressive (click here to read about that tense). However, most times you can also use the Simple Present.

¿Qué haces?

What are you doing?

 

Lavo los platos.

I’m washing the dishes.

 

¿Qué hace Ana?

What is Ana doing?

 

Baila con un chico.

She dances with a guy.

Things that will happen in the near future

For this case, it’s very frequent to use the Future tenses, either the Simple Future (click here to read about it) or the future with “ir a + infinitive”. However, most times you can also use the Simple Present.

Mañana voy a casa de mi abuela.

I’ll go to my grandma’s tomorrow.

 

El mes que viene hacemos un curso de español.

We’ll do a Spanish course next month.

Asking for / ordering

It’s very frequent, for examples in restaurants, to order something in the form of a question using the Simple Present tense.

For example, to express “I’d have a beer, please”, we usually say “do you put me a beer, please”?

¿Me pone una cerveza, por favor? 

I’d have a beer, please.

 

¿Nos trae la carta, por favor?

Could you bring us the menu, please?

 

¿Me enseña ese reloj, por favor?

Could you show me that watch, please?

 

One more example: A picture

¿Qué hacen estas personas los viernes?

El niño estudia para los exámenes de la escuela.

El joven juega al tenis con un amigo suyo.

La mujer morena trabaja en la oficina.

La chica rubia va al gimnasio y hace ejercicio.

Los dos jóvenes bailan salsa.