Present Tense - Third Person

English Grammar Rules

Normally in the present tense we add S to the end of the verb in the 3rd person (He, She, It).

Verb 3rd Person
Speak Speaks
Play Plays
Give Gives
Make Makes
  • He speaks three languages.
  • She drinks coffee every morning.
  • My dog hates my cat.

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs in English in the present tense follow very simple rules. The only change that is made to these verbs is in the third person – for He, She or It.

1. If the verb ends in SS, X, CH, SH or the letter O, we add + ES in the third person.

Verb 3rd Person
Kiss Kisses
Fix Fixes
Watch Watches
Crash Crashes
Go Goes
  • A mechanic fixes cars.
  • She watches soap operas every afternoon.
  • He kisses his wife before he goes to work.

2. If the verb ends in a Consonant + Y, we remove the Y and + IES in the third person.

Verb 3rd Person
Carry Carries
Hurry Hurries
Study Studies
Deny Denies
  • Isabel studies every night.
  • The baby cries all the time.
  • He denies all responsibility.

Negative Sentence

To form the negative we use the auxiliary do not. Again, the only variation occurs in the 3rd person where we use does not.


Positive Negative
I talk I do not talk
She talksShe does not talk
You sleep You do not sleep
He sleeps He does not sleep
Carol studies Carol does not study
We study We do not study

In the negative, the main verb is always in the bare infinitive (without TO). It doesn't change for the third person. We don't put an S on the end of the verb in the negative form. In the examples above - talk, sleep and study do not change in the 3rd person.

  • He speaks Italian
    He doesn't speak Italian.

Remember: Do not can be abbreviated to Don't and Does not can be abbreviated to Doesn't.




Next activity

Grammar Rules:
See our notes about the Simple Present Tense in English.

Pronunciation Rules:
You might be interested in the Pronunciation of -S at the end of words in English.


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Last Updated: 02 December 2014
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