Categories
Videos

Level 1: Lessons 11-12


Level 1 is the first workbook in the elementary series. Lessons 11 and 12 teach about the third person singular of the present tense of verbs.

Transcript

A Form-Function English Grammar

Level 1

Lessons 11 and 12

Verbs: Third Person Singular

What is the third person singular of verbs?

Remember again that notional grammars define the verb as a word that names an action or state. Most verbs can show tense, which means most verbs have present tense and past tense forms.

Tense tells when an action or state happened.

English has two tenses: the present tense and the past tense. The present tense can tell what is happening now. The past tense tells what happened before now.

For example, look at the sentences I giggle now and I giggled earlier. In the first sentence, the verb giggle is in the present tense. When do I giggle? I giggle now. In the second sentence, the verb giggled is in the past tense. When did I giggle? I giggled earlier.

The present tense again can tell what is happening now. In the present tense, most verbs have two forms. The form depends on person and number.

Remember that person, or grammatical person, is a grammatical category that distinguishes between participants in a conversation. English has three persons: first person, second person, and third person. (Go back to Lesson 9 for a review of grammatical person.)

Most verbs are unmarked in the present tense. Unmarked means that the verb is the same as the verb found in the dictionary. For example, the verbs jump, play, teach, and cry are unmarked. All these forms are the forms that you look up in the dictionary.

For most persons and numbers in the present tense, the verb is the unmarked form. I jump. You play. We teach. They cry. Notice that the verbs jump, play, teach, and cry do not change in the first person, second person, and third person plural.

In the third person singular, however, verbs take an -s or ­­-es­ suffix. Remember that the third person is not me or you and that singular means “one.” So, the third person singular is one other person or thing that is not me or you.

For example: It jumps. She plays. He teaches. The baby cries. Notice that the verbs jump, play, teach, and cry take an -s or ­­-es­ suffix in the third person singular. Jumps, plays, teaches, cries.

If you know the rules for forming strong plural nouns (go back to lesson 3 for a review), then you already know the rules for forming the third person singular of verbs.

Put an -s suffix on the end of most verbs to form the third person singular of the present tense. For example, the verbs read, sit, throw, and walk all take the -s suffix in the third person singular. I read. He reads. You sit. She sits. We throw. It throws. They walk. The child walks.

Verbs that need an extra syllable in the third person singular of the present tense take the -es suffix. For example, the verbs buzz, kiss, mix, and wash each have one syllable in the singular. Flies buzz. We kiss. I mix. You wash. All four verbs need an extra syllable in the third person singular. The fly buzzes. She kisses. He mixes. She washes.

For verbs that end in the grapheme <y> (not a diagraph that contains <y>), the <y> toggles with <i> and then the -es suffix affixes to the end of the verb. For example, the verbs carry, study, try, and worry all end in the grapheme <y>. The <y> toggles with <i> and then the verb takes the -es suffix. It carries. He studies. She tries. The kid worries.

So, what is the third person singular in the present tense of verbs?

Verbs take an -s or -es suffix to form the third person singular. Put an -s suffix on the end of most verbs to form the third person singular. Put an -es suffix on the end of a verb that needs an extra syllable in the third person singular. For a verb that ends in a consonant and then <y> (the grapheme <y>), change the <y> to an <i> and add the -es suffix.

Now practice your knowledge of the third person singular of present tense verbs by completing the exercises in Lessons 11 and 12 of A Form-Function English Grammar: Level 1, pages 44 through 51.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x