bare infinitive present simpleIn the affirmative present simple, the forms for he/she/it use different conjugation to the bare infinitive (the “third person S” rule, for regular verbs). Otherwise you may not notice a difference, for example: I like cheese (present simple form of to like) vs I do like cheese (bare infinitive form of to like). This means that if you confuse a present simple verb with a bare infinitive, or the other way round, you will only notice a mistake in its form when the subject is he/she/it. The following exercise tests the understanding of when a different conjugation is necessary, with answers below.


Bare infinitives in the present simple – exercise

Complete the following sentences in the present simple using the verb in brackets. Should it be a bare infinitive, or a he/she/it (third person S) form?

  1. Wilson ______ to his garden every day. (to tend)
  2. Does she ______ any more beans? (to want)
  3. How far does he ______ each morning? (to run)
  4. I don’t know what she ______. (to need)
  5. The dog ______ under the table. (to sleep)
  6. The boat does not _____ any more. (to float)
  7. It does ______ strange, doesn’t it? (to seem)
  8. What ______ that new perfume you are wearing? (to be)
  9. Does Mr Carpenter ______ here? (to live)
  10. Let him ______ the documents. (to see)
  11. He ______ on a train, always moving, never stopping. (to live)
  12. Don’t _____ paper, re-use some of the scrap. (to waste)



  1. tends (verb)
  2. want (bare infinitive)
  3. run (bare infinitive)
  4. needs (verb)
  5. sleeps (verb)
  6. float (bare infinitive)
  7. seem (bare infinitive)
  8. is (verb)
  9. live (bare infinitive)
  10. see (bare infinitive – an imperative statement)
  11. lives (verb)
  12. waste (bare infinitive)

If you have any questions, please get in touch, or post in the comments below!


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