Have you already mastered the plural “s” sound in the English language? If not, you will want to watch this English tip from Gabby at Go Natural English. If you have had trouble understanding this concept, don’t worry, you are not alone. There are a number of English learners that had experienced trouble with the plural “s.”
Gabby explains that sometimes you can tell immediately from the context of the conversation that you need a plural “s.” Sometimes you just have to listen and train your hears to hear the sounds. She also mentioned that the plural “s” can sometimes sound like a “z” and sometimes like an “s”. As you listen to more and more English conversations, you will be able to distinguish the difference sounds.
Gabby’s tips are designed to help you, the non-native English learner, improve your fluency and comprehension. For more tips and support, visit old.gonaturalenglish.com and pick up a free eBook just for visiting. While there, be sure to check out the premium Go Natural English course for more comprehensive tips and support.
Episode transcript below:
Hey! How’s it going?
Welcome to Go Natural English.
I have a great question from an audience member named Gusty.
Gusty asks, “How can I hear – how can I improve my listening comprehension to hear the plural ‘s’ sound”?
Gusty was telling me about how in his English class, he has to fill in the blanks.
Maybe he was doing a listening exercise, maybe a worksheet, or a test.
And he has a really hard time understanding when to put an “s” at the end of the word.
He knows the grammar, of course – “s” is for plural but for listening it’s so hard to hear that “s”, and that’s a great question.
I hear this problem, or this complaint, from a lot of English learners and it’s a really common problem.
So, it’s important to talk about it.
So, Gusty, thank you for asking that question.
Alright, so, Gusty asked about the plural “s”.
Well, sometimes you know there’s going to be a plural “s” from the context, right?
So, if you hear someone say, “I love pets. I have four dogs.”
Well, you don’t even have to hear the plural “s” to know that if I say “four” then I’m going to have a plural “s”, right?
I’m not going to say “four dog.”
I need to say “four dogs.”
So, you don’t even need to hear it though because you know from the context.
But what about if I didn’t say “four”?
What if I just said, “I have dogs”?
Well, we need to train our ears.
You need to think about the fact that English will have the plural “s”, and expose yourself to a lot of English.
Understand that the Plural “s” has different sounds.
It could be either a “z” sound as the example that I gave just now “dogs.”
So, you’re listening for a “z” sound, or it could sound like “s”, like an “s” as in “I have four cats.”
So, we have two different plural “s” sounds that you need to be listening for.
So, those are my two tips, right?
You have to listen to the context – actually three tips – listen to the context, listen to a lot of English to train your ears, and understand that there are two different plural “s” sounds, “s” and “z.”
Alright, I hope this has been helpful for you.
If you’d like to learn more, come back to old.gonaturalenglish.com.
I’ll see you there.
Bye for now.