Forming and Pronouncing the Present Tense Third Person Singular Present Click on the arrows below to follow along and practice the exercises provided.
The third person singular form is used when referring to a single noun (person, place, or thing) other than “you” or “I,” and can be represented by the pronouns “he,” “she,” and “it.”
To form the third person singular in the simple present tense, all you need to do is add an “s” to the verb. This rule applies to all verbs, regular and irregular.
The "s" ending will sound like "s", "z" or "iz", depending on what sound the verb ends with. The pronunciation rules for the final "s" follow the same guidelines as regular plurals.
1. The rule for verbs that end with a vowel/diphthong or voiced consonant sound The "s" ending is pronounced like "z." Remember to go by the final sound of the word and not the final letter. Because the "z" is voiced, you will have to stretch the vowel that comes just before it.
This excludes verbs that end with "z", "dg", "zh" as they follow different pronunciation rules.
Voiced consonants include: b, d, g, m, n, ng, l, v, voiced th Vowel sounds include: ae, ay, eh, ih, ee, uh, er, aw, oh, oo, u, ah Diphthong sounds include: air, ar, or, you, eye, oy, ow
Let’s look at some examples "call” changes to “calls”. The verb "call" ends with the voiced consonant sound "l", so the "s" after it is pronounced like "z" which is also voiced. "Mary calls me every night."
"ride" changes to "rides." The verb "ride" ends with the voiced consonant sound "d", as the final "e" is silent. Remember to go by the sound at the end of the verb and not the letter. We add the letter "s" after it and pronounce it like "z", making the word "rides." "He rides on the bus every day."
Practice the following sentences, paying special attention to the underlined verbs. 1. Mary joins lots of groups. 2. The dog knows what to do. 3. John comes to my house every Sunday for dinner. 4. She rubs her cat's fur often. 5. My daughter hugs me every day. 6. He adds well. 7. Anne hums songs while she works. 8. Summer always seems to go by too quickly. 9. Anne lives next door to me. 10. She bathes twice a day.
2. The rule for verbs that end with an unvoiced consonant sound The "s" ending is pronounced like "s." Again, remember to go by the final sound of the word and not the final letter. Because the "s" is unvoiced, you do not have to stretch out the vowel just before it. This means that the vowel sound just before the unvoiced "s" ending is said more quickly than when a verb ends with a voiced sound.
Unvoiced consonant sounds include: p, k, t, unvoiced th, f
This excludes verbs that end with "s", "sh", and "ch" as they follow a different pronunciation rule.
Let's look at some examples The verb "think" changes to "thinks". The verb "think" ends with the unvoiced consonant "k", so the "s" after it is pronounced like "s" making it "thinks". "She thinks a lot of him."
The verb "wait" changes to "waits." The verb "wait" ends with the unvoiced consonant "t", so the "s" after it is pronounced like "s" making it "waits.""Mary waits for her mother after school." Practice the following sentences. 1. My mother wants to go on a cruise. 2. Jack likes pumpkin pie. 3. He takes the subway to work. 4. Anne jumps very high. 5. She laughs at all my jokes. 6. He pumps his own gas. 7. Jane wakes up every day at 7am. 8. The man bluffs when he plays poker. 9. That little boy always hits his friends. 10. She writes a lot of letters.
3. The rule for verbs that end with one of these sounds:"sh", "ch", "s", "z", "zh", "dg" Add "es" to the end to form the third person singular present tense. The "es" is pronounced like "iz." Because "z" is a voiced consonant, you must prolong "ih" just before it, so that the "z" sounds voiced. If you say the "ih" too quickly, the "z" will sound like "s."
Only verbs ending with "sh", "ch", "s", "z", "zh" and "dg" add "es" to the end of them. This means that you will have to memorize the rule for this particular set of sounds so that you can pronounce them correctly. Let's look at some examples The verb “judge” changes to “judges”. The word "judge" ends with "dg", which is a voiced consonant sound, so you add "es" after it and pronounce it like "iz." "He judges the competition."
The verb “catch” changes to “catches”. The verb "catch" ends with "ch", which is an unvoiced consonant sound, so you add "es" after it and pronounce it like "iz.""The boy catches the ball." The verb “wash” changes to “washes”. The verb "wash" ends with "sh, which is an unvoiced consonant sound, so you add "es" after it and pronounce the "es" like "iz." "She washes the dishes." Practice the following sentences. 1. Mary watches sports often. 2. He munches loudly. 3. My father judges others. 4. The man manages that store. 5. John wishes he could fly a plane. 6. The worker packages meat. 7. My dog rushes to meet me. 8. She brushes her hair 100 times. 9. The man approaches the car. 10. The woman reaches for her child.
Here is an exercise for you to try on your own.
Read the following short story and correct any third person singular present tense errors. Then, read it aloud and send me your recording for feedback on your pronunciation. The Boston Marathon take place on Patriot’s Day in a small town called Hopkinton. It always occur on the third Monday in April. The sleepy town of Hopkinton come alive and is filled with thousands of people who come to watch the race. Everyone who lives in the town tries to stand near the starting line, hoping to catch a glimpse of the many famous runners from all over the world who attend this prestigious race. It is one event that everyone who lives in Hopkinton want to see. Newscasters report details of the race from the backs of trucks which follow the race. Some reporters even follow the race from helicopters all the way to its end in Boston. Everyone enjoy this event tremendously.