Pronunciation of the 3rd Person Singular -s in the Simple Present 

In the Simple Present Tense we add an -s to the end of the verb to form positive sentences in the 3rd person singular subjects.

We pronounce the -s as /s/, /z/, or /ız/.

Do you know when to pronounce the -s as /s/, /z/, or /ız/? If you don't, don't worry. There are some rules to pronounce the -s differently. What are the rules? Let's learn.

  • When the verb ends in /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/  sounds, we pronounce the -s as  /ɪz/

       /tʃ/ teach             /dʒ/ judge            /s/ miss           /z/ lose       /ʃ/ finish

  • When the verb ends in /p/, /t/, /k/, /f/ or /θ/ sounds, we pronounce the -s as /s/

       /p/ hope            /t/ put                   /k/ make          /f/ surf        /θ/ breath

  • When the verb ends in /b/, /d/, /g/, /v/, /ð/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/ or /l/ sound or a vowel sound, we pronounce the -s as /z/

        /b/ climb       /d/ spend     /g/ beg       /v/ love    /ð/ bath       
       /m/ come       /n/ run        /ŋ/ sing       /l/ call

You can see the chart with example verbs below for the pronunciation of 3rd person singular -s.