English Daily Workout: Simple Present: Pronunciation of the 'es' ending - Theory & Exercise

Simple Present: Pronunciation of the 'es' ending - Theory & Exercise

3. Pronunciation of the 'es' ending

A syllable is a unit of pronunciation, usually consisting of a vowel sound which may or may not be accompanied by consonants.

When a verb ends in a sibilant sound such as chsshx or z, the es ending of the third person singular is pronounced as a separate syllable. The reason for this is that these sounds are so similar to the sound of the es ending, that the ending must be pronounced as a separate syllable in order to be heard clearly.

In each of the following examples the bare infinitive consists of one syllable, whereas the form of the verb used in the third person singular consists of two syllables.

Bare InfinitiveThird Person Singular
  pass  passes
  push  pushes
  catch  catches
  mix  mixes

Similarly, when s is added to verbs ending in cegese or ze, the final es is usually pronounced as a separate syllable. In each of the following examples the bare infinitive consists of one syllable, whereas the form of the verb used in the third person singular consists
of two syllables.

Bare InfinitiveThird Person Singular
  race  races
  rage  rages
  praise  praises
  doze  dozes

However, when s is added to a verb ending in e preceded by a letter
other than cgs or z, the final es is not pronounced as a separate syllable. In each of the following examples, both the bare infinitive and the form of the verb used in the third person singular consist of one syllable.

Bare InfinitiveThird Person Singular
  make  makes
  smile  smiles
  dine  dines
  save  saves

For each of the following verbs, underline the letter or letters representing the sound preceding the es ending, and then indicate the number of syllables in the verb. For example:
      wishes __
      wishes 2

      laces __
      laces 2

      takes __
      takes 1



Answers:
1. watches 2
2. teases 2
3. likes 1
4. rushes 2
5. faces 2
6. dines 1
7. misses 2
8. tames 1
9. scares 1
10. passes 2
11. pinches 2
12. wades 1