Grammar Lesson of the Month International Student Life San Francisco

Simple Present for Scientific Facts + SF’s California Academy of Sciences

March 1, 2017

With IEC@DVC’s curriculum, students at beginner levels learn the basics of the English tenses, including the many ways that English uses the Simple Present. One of the coolest ways we use the Simple Present? To talk about scientific truths! Read on to learn about this use of the Simple Present, and also learn about the most fascinating science hub in SF: the California Academy of Sciences!

A grass roof? How cool is that?

Uses of the Simple Present

We can use the Simple Present in many ways, including the following:

Things that are true

For things that are true, we use is/am/are for the BE verb. For all other verbs, we add “s” to the end for he/she/it.

  • I am from Korea.
  • He is my teacher.
  • I love chocolate.
  • My roommate also loves chocolate.
  • She is my roommate.

Things that are untrue

For things that are untrue, we use the following:

When using the BE verb:

subject + is/am/are + not + base verb

Remember that we can combine the BE verb and NOT to make a contraction!

  • She is not my teacher.
  • She isn’t my teacher. (contraction)
  • My roommate is not from Korea.
  • My roommate isn’t from Korea. (contraction)

All other verbs:

I + do + not + base verb
he/she/it + does + not + base verb

  • My Mom does not like chocolate.
  • My Mom doesn’t like chocolate. (contraction)
  • He does not speak German.
  • He doesn’t speak German. (contraction)

Ongoing situations

Ongoing situations are usually states of being: things that are true today, will be true tomorrow, and were probably true yesterday.

  • I live with three people.
  • My roommates are all students at IEC@DVC.

Things that are happening right now

We use the Simple Present to talk about things that are happening at this moment.

  • Sorry, I am not home right now.
  • My teacher isn’t in her office. She is at lunch.
  • We aren’t sure of our plans for the weekend.

Scientific truths

One of the most interesting ways that we use the Simple Present is to talk about scientific facts.

  • Water freezes at 0 degrees Celcius.
  • The moon controls the ocean’s tides.
  • Wind causes waves.
  • Pluto is not a planet.
  • Coniferous plants do not lose their leaves.
  • Most decidious plants lose their leaves in the fall.
  • There are volcanoes underwater.

To celebrate the use of the Simple Present for scientific truths, we are looking at the coolest science-based activity in San Francisco: the California Academy of Sciences! What is the California Academy of Sciences? It’s a planetarium, aquarium, and natural history museum . . . and it’s all in one place (Golden Gate Park) for visitors to enjoy!

Highlights of the CA Academy of Sciences

Steinhart Aquarium/Osher Rainforest

Explore the underwater world with their incredible aquariums.

So beautiful!

Steinhart Aquarium allows guests the coolest view of underwater life! Watch sharks feed in the shark lagoon, check out the adorable penguin colony, meet Claude the albino alligator in his swamp, or explore the Osher Rainforest: it has a 90-foot rainforest and thousands of animals from three rainforests around the world. With the underwater tunnel, guests can view hundreds of tropical, freshwater fish living in the 100,000-gallon tank.

Morrison Planetarium

The show is so real, you’ll feel like you’re in outer space!

See the universe (digitally) with the award-winning Morrison Planetarium! This fascinating show allows visitors to “tour” the universe and explore galaxies far beyond Earth’s. Check the website for show times: typically there is a show every day at 4:30!

Kimball Natural History Museum

See fossils (such as the 87-foot blue whale and the impressive T. rex!), learn about earthquakes, and watch scientists in action at the Academy lab. The exhibits of the Kimball Natural History Museum make science come to life!


To visit the museum, purchase tickets, download a visitor map, or get information such as the museum’s hours, check out the CA Academy of Sciences website. Be sure to also view their webcams: you can see the penguins, alligators, and other wildlife from your home!

All photos are from the CA Academy of Sciences Facebook page. 

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