verb (+ “s” in third person singular of most verbs – see additional points below)
- Present simple is used to talk about permanent situations.
- She doesn’t speak English.
- Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
- Present simple is used to talk about things that happen repeatedly.
- I go to school every day.
- Jack sometimes plays tennis.
- Present simple is used to ask for and give instructions.
- How do I get to the bathroom?
- You go up the stairs and turn right.
- Present simple is used in narrative (to tell stories).
- At the start of the film a big spaceship comes to Earth and lands in LA. Then the aliens eat all the people.
- Present simple is used to talk about future scheduled events.
- The meeting starts at 10am.
- The train leaves at 7.32pm.
- Present simple is used in certain introductory expressions.
- I hear you went on holiday to Spain this summer.
- I gather you’re leaving the company.
Third person singular spelling
- – most verbs: add s.
- play – plays
- sleep – sleeps
- Verbs which end in consonant + y: change y to ies.
- hurry – hurries
- reply – replies
- Verbs which end in s, z, ch, sh or x: add es.
- push – pushes
- watch – watches
- do – does
- go – goes
- have – has
See the phonemic chart for IPA symbols used below.
The pronuciation of the third person singular ending depends on the last phoneme of the verb:
- If the last phoneme of the verb is a vowel, a diphthong, /b/, /d/, /g/, /v/, /ð/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/ or /l/, we don’t add a syllable and the ending is pronounced /z/
- goes: /gəʊz/
- runs: /rʌnz/
- If the last phoneme of the verb is /p/, /t/, /k/, /f/ or/θ/, we don’t add a syllable and the ending is pronounced /s/
- hopes: /həʊps/
- pats: /pæts/
- If the last phoneme of the verb is /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/ or /ʒ/, we add a syllable, pronouncing the ending /ɪz/
- catches: /kætʃɪz/
- snoozes: /snuːzɪz/
Related grammar points
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