Add ‘s’ – exceptions?
Kay sent us this comment and question on our article about adding ‘s’, ‘es, and ‘ies’ in the third person singular of the present simple:
Thanks for your kind gesture! Please (1) are there words that (2) don’t have s in third person and (3 and 4) are there verbs that don’t need s in future tenses ? Thanks once more.
This the answer we gave her:
Thanks for your comment and questions Kay.
You will see that I have numbered your questions:
- I suppose that you mean verbs and not words. All verbs that have an infinitive with “to” (to have, to go, to like, to study etc) need to add an ‘s’ form in the third person singular affirmative. In negatives and questions we add an ‘s’ to the verb ‘do’ which is used as an auxiliary:
– Does John live in London
– Mary doesn’t study at university
- Other auxiliary (modals) that don’t have an infinitive with “to” do NOT add an ‘s’:
– My dog can swim
– Patricia would like to visit Amsterdam
– James should train harder if he wants to run faster
- We ONLY add an ‘s’ to verb forms in the future when we use present tenses (simple, continuous, perfect) to indicate the idea of “future”:
– My mother is coming to visit us in December.
– Max works night shift next week.
– When Dad has arrived, we’ll start to eat
- If we use modal verbs like ‘will’,’must’ etc for the future we do NOT use an ‘s’:
– I think that my teacher will be in a meeting at 10.00
– Your dog must be on a lead in the children’s festival tomorrow
I hope that answers your question.
If you have any grammar questions, use this page: