That Pesky S in Present Tense Verbs

One of the most difficult letters in English is “S“. English uses “S” for many things! S is difficult! 

1. ‘s = Possession: Jaimie‘s computer, Kathy‘s house, the cat‘s milk, my father‘s brother, etc.

2. s, ies or es = Plurals: computers, houses, tries, brothers, glasses, TVs, churches, etc.

3. ‘s = Contractions for “is” OR “has”: She‘s talking; He‘s eating; It‘s 3:00, etc. OR She‘s talked already; He‘s eaten; It‘s been an hour, etc.

4. s, ies or es = 3rd Person Singular Present Tense: My mom cleans the bathroom, washes clothes, and studies French on Saturday.

Maybe there are more times when we use “S”, but these are the basic ones!

When we speak or read in English, we have to pronounce the “s” strong enough that everyone can hear it. If we don’t pronounce the “s”, maybe the listener won’t understand what we want to say. Don’t be afraid to sound like a snake. Ssssss!!!

Watch this video. The pronunciation is excellent! 

In PRESENT TENSE, we put an “S” at the end of regular verbs with HE, SHE, and IT.

Gayle teaches English on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. She talks to her class. She smiles. She pronounces each word carefully. She explains many things.

How do you know when to put “s” and when to put “es”? Look at the chart below (from this website). Can you find the rule?

  • eat – eats
  • drive – drives
  • know – knows
  • listen – listens
  • make – makes
  • read – reads
  • see – sees
  • write – writes
  • kiss – kisses
  • realize – realizes
  • refuse – refuses
  • teach – teaches
  • wash – washes
  • watch – watches
  • apply – applies
  • cry – cries
  • rely – relies
  • study – studies
  • party – parties

Write the the rules you see in the comment section OR copy and paste the exercise below. Put in an “s” where you need one. Good luck!

“Oh, hello, Betsy! How are you? How is your husband__?”

“I’m good, thank you__. My husband is good__, too.”

“Where does he work now?”

“He work__ at the supermarket all day. When he finish__ work, he come__ home and watch__ TV.”

“Does he like_ his job?”

“I think__ so. But he doesn’t like__ to come home late.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.