Spelling - Rules for Third Person 'S'


Hi guys. I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on spelling rules for

the third person present simple. In English, the third person is very special in the present

simple because, well, the verb is different than when you say "I", "you", "we", or "they".

For example, if we look at the verb "start", we say, "I start" in the present simple, "you

start" in the present simple, and then we say "we start" and "they start". However,

for the third person, which is "he", "she", or "it", we say, "he starts", "she starts",

"it starts". Okay. Today we're going to look at some spelling rules for this third person

S. Now, those of you who have been studying English for a while know that we usually add

an "s" or an "es" or an "ies" to the end of a verb when we're writing it in the third

person. So today, we're going to look at these rules. And if you're wondering, well, "When

do I add "es"" "When do I add just "s"", this is what this lesson is for. We're not going

to focus so much on the pronunciation part of it. That will be saved for another lesson.

Today, I just want to look at the written part and tell you how to write these things.

So No. 1, we have four verbs. We have "start", "stand", "work", "read". In the first person

we say: "I start"; "I stand"; "I work"; "I read"; but in the third person, as most of

you likely know, we have to say: "starts", "stands", "works", "reads", right? So for

most verbs in the English language, we just add "s" to the ends of the base form of the

verb. So I'm just going to write that here. Add "s" at the end of most verbs. Okay? Now,

I don't want to give you a rule that says, "at the end of all consonants", or "at the

end of all vowels", because it's not true. So that's why I said at the end of "most"

verbs we just add "s". Now, we have No. 2. We have, "catch", "smash",

"pass", "fix", "buzz". To these five verbs, we actually have to add "es". So we say, "he"

or "she" or "it catches." "He" or "she" or "it smashes." "He" or "she" or "it passes,

fixes, and buzzes." So we add "es". So what's the rule here? Well, if you look at the end

of each verb, we have "ch", "sh", "s", "x", "z". Any time -- any verb that ends in "ch",

"sh", "s", "x", or "z" -- or "zed", depending on if you're British or American -- just add

"es". So the rule is: Add "es" to verbs that end with "ch", "sh", "s", "x", or "z" or "zed".

Okay, now let's look at another list of verbs, and these are verbs that end in "y". And we

actually have two categories of them. We have No. 3, No. 4, "study", "hurry", "carry", "stay",

"enjoy", "decay". Now, all these verbs end in "y", but they do have a difference for

each category. In this one -- "study", "hurry", "carry" -- each verb actually ends in a consonant

plus a "y". So "d", "r", and "r" again are consonants. So when we have a consonant +

"y" you must change the "y" to "i" and add "es". So we have "studies", "hurries", and

"carries". And I apologize -- basically, all you have to do -- imagine this is not here,

right? Erase the "y"; add "ies". So the rule is: We add -- sorry -- we remove "y" and add

"ies" when the verb ends with a consonant + "y". Okay. And this should give you an idea

about what the rule is for the next one. So here, we have three verbs that end in "y",

but they end in a vowel + "y" -- vowel, "a-o-a". So when you have this, simply add "s". So

we have: "stays", "enjoys", "decays". So the rule for this -- unlike the consonant + "y"

-- is: Add "s" when the verb ends with a vowel + "y". That's it.

Okay, guys. If you'd like to test your understanding of this material, if you'd like to improve

your spelling, you can check out the quiz on www.engvid.com. Good luck.