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Lesson Focus — Page 1 of 2

Hearing the “s” at the End of Words

In English, we often put an “s” at the end of words.

We use an “s” at the end of present-tense verbs with he, she, and it.

He eats.

She dances.

It moves.

We use an “s” at the end of many plural nouns.

one cat arrow pointing right two cats

one dog arrow pointing right two dogs

one house arrow pointing right two houses

We use an “s” when we are contracting is.

he is arrow pointing right he’s

she is arrow pointing right she’s

it is arrow pointing right it’s

We use an “s” when we are contracting has.

he has arrow pointing right he’s

she has arrow pointing right she’s

it has arrow pointing right it’s

We use an “s” to show possession.

I like Mary’s tree.

Its leaves are pretty.

The tree’s leaves are red.

The “s” can have three different sounds. Click on the sounds and words to hear them.

Sound of “S” Nouns Verbs
“s” boats
books
forgets
cooks
helps
“z” bananas
cars
pulls
sings
spends
“ez” diseases
churches
washes
fixes
freezes

Sometimes, it can be difficult to hear the “s” at the end of a word. It is most difficult when the next word starts with an “s” sound. Click on the sentences to hear them.

Word and Sound Slow, Clear Speaking Normal Speaking
verb with s sound It costs seven dollars.
It costs seven dollars.
verb with z sound She loves sandwiches.
She loves sandwiches.
verb with ez sound He closes some windows.
He closes some windows.
noun with s sound My parents spoke to her.
My parents spoke to her.
noun with z sound The animals sleep.
The animals sleep.
noun with ez sound The classes seem good.
The classes seem good.
’s with s sound It’s simple.
It’s simple.
’s with z sound John’s son is young.
John’s son is young.

It is also difficult to hear the “s” when the next word starts with a similar sound. The “sh” sound is similar to the “s” sound. (It sounds almost the same.) The “z” sound is also similar. Click on the sentences to hear them.

Word and Sound Slow, Clear Speaking Normal Speaking
verb with s sound It looks sharp.
It looks sharp.
verb with z sound She goes shopping.
She goes shopping.
verb with ez sound He washes shirts.
He washes shirts.
noun with s sound Mistakes should be corrected.
Mistakes should be corrected.
noun with z sound The girls shouted.
The girls shouted.
noun with ez sound Horses share their food.
Horses share their food.
’s with s sound It’s short.
It’s short.
’s with z sound Go to the children’s zoo.
Go to the children’s zoo.