Pronunciation of Third Person Singular

Note: The letters between the slash marks / / refer to sounds, not to spelling.

1. The -(e)s of the simple present tense is pronounced as /z/ after a voiced sound, except /z/, /zh/, and /j/. The voiced sounds are sounds that are produced by vibration of the vocal chords. The voiced sounds in English are:

     a. All vowels

     b. /b/, /g/, j sound (as in judge), /l/, /m/, /n/, /r/, voiced th (as in bathe), /v/, ng (as in bang), zh sound (as in measure), z sound (as in buzz)

Examples: plays, sees, goes, robs, hangs, calls, rams, learns, blurs, clothes, receives

2. The -(e)s of the simple present tense is pronounced as /s/ after a voiceless sound, except /s/, /sh/, and /ch/. The voiceless sounds are sounds that are produced with no vibration of the vocal chords. The voiceless sounds in English are:

     a. /f/, /k/, /p/, /s/, voiceless th (as in with), ch (as in watch), sh (as in wash)

Examples: laughs, talks, stops

3. When a word ends in /s/, /sh/, /ch/, /z/, /j/ the -es is pronounced as a separate syllable: /ɪz/. Therefore, if a verb ends in one of these sounds, the present tense will have one more syllable than the simple form.

Examples:

fix (1 syllable)-->fixes (2 syllables)

kiss (1 syllable)-->kisses (2 syllables)

wash (1 syllable)-->washes (2 syllables)

watch (1 syllable)-->watches (2 syllables)


damage (2 syllables)-->damages (3 syllables)


memorize (3 syllables)-->memorizes (4 syllables)

exercise (3 syllables)-->exercises (4 syllables)


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