Third Person Singular

Compared to other languages (like French, for example) conjugation in English is very regular. If we conjugate a verb in any tense, the verb will stay the same in all persons. The only exception is the third person singular and a couple of verbs.

In this article, we'll talk about forming the third person singular.

The third person singular is most often expressed by words such as he, she and it. But, in fact, any person, place, or thing in the singular form (for example house, dog or keyboard) other than the speaker and the addressee is referred to in the third person singular.

Forming

The basic rule of conjugating the third person singular is adding -s to the base form of a verb.

a) All verbs ended in -y and a vowel before it, get -s.

Examples:

Eat

  • I eat
  • you eat
  • he eats
  • she eats
  • it eats
  • we eat
  • you eat
  • they eat

Make

  • I make
  • you make
  • he makes
  • she makes
  • it makes
  • we make
  • you make
  • they make

Buy and pay

  • buy - buys
  • pay - pays

 

b) Verbs ended in -ch, -sh, -ss, -x, -o get -es.

  • kiss - kisses
  • watch - watches
  • push - pushes
  • fix - fixes
  • go - goes
  • do - does


c) Verbs ended with -y and a consonant before it, get -ies.

  • cry - cries
  • try - tries
  • marry - marries

Exceptions

Examples
She has 4 pets.
Mike has a new job.
He has a very good understanding of the tenses.
He is twelve years old.
My house is very small.
  • modal verbs (such as should, may).