Don't make this common mistake – Use the S! by EnglishLessons4U - Learn English with Ronnie! [engVid]   1 year ago


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There are some really simple things that you can do to sound more like a native English speaker. One mistake English learners often make is not pronouncing the "s" at the end of a word. This can lead to confusion. For example, if you say, "I like dog", it will be interpreted as meaning that you like to eat dog meat, not that you love these cute animals as pets! In this lesson, you will learn when you should pronounce the "s" at the end of some words in order to be clear in your meaning and avoid embarrassing confusion.


Hi, guys. I'd like to share with you one of my pet peeves. "Pet peeves" means something that other people do that make you angry. So, I am an ESL teacher, and I love teaching, but something really pisses me off, something really makes me angry, and it is when people do not say the "s" at the end of words. Now, I understand that this is at first a pronunciation problem, so you guys are going to go to Emma's video that she made: "Words Ending in 's'". So, this will teach you all about the pronunciation of the word "s" at the end of words. So, will give you... Type in "s pronunciation", and you've got that video right there. After you watch that video, there will be no excuse. So, please, try. Help me out.

And I'm going to tell you why it's so important. First example: Use the "s" is if you said to someone, for example: "I like cat" or "I like dog", this means you want to say that you like dogs, cats, you think they're cute, you maybe have a couple pets. But guess what? If you say: "I like cat and I like dog", this means you like to eat them. So you don't want someone to think that you like to eat dogs or cats, now, do you? So, it's crucial (very important) that you always try to remember to put the "s". So, instead of saying: "I like cat and I like dog", we're going to say: "I like cats and I like dogs."

If it's an animal that you like, you're going to put the "s", with the exception of chicken... You can like chickens. But if you like to eat it, you're not going to put the "s". So, for example: "My favourite food is chicken." So, I would say: "I like chicken." But if I like the animal: "Bawk, bawk, bawk", maybe a bit too much, I would say: "I like chickens." So, be careful. You don't want to say to someone: "I like sheep", because that just... That's a different subject.

So, the first rule that you have to remember with this is we always use an "s" with countable nouns. So, a "countable noun" means something that you can count in groups. For example: dogs, cats; one dog, two dogs, three dogs. You can count them. We have countable and uncountable nouns in English. If you're not too sure, you can reference it on or you can look in a grammar book or a dictionary, and you will know if it's countable or uncountable. So, rule number one is that every countable noun will have to have an "s" if it's plural.

If you look at my example... Now, I hear this all the time. I will ask someone: -"Wow. Cool shoes. How much were they?" -"40 dollar." And, let me see, 40 dollar, 40 dollar, what? Because "dollars" are countable, you have to put the "s". So, it's not: "40 dollar", it's "40 dollars". So: "I have 5 dollars." Now, if you only have one of something that's countable, that's okay, you don't need the "s". So, for example: "I have one dog." I don't put the "s". If you have one of something that's countable, you don't need the "s", but as soon as you have two, you need to put the "s".

The other words that we're going to look at are more of a grammar-based thing, but that's cool. "There were several", maybe this is a new word for you. "Several" means the same as "a lot" or "many". It means more than one. So, for example, if you say: "There was... There were several dog", this doesn't make sense; because this means more than one, I have to write the "s". I say: "There were several dogs."

"I have a lot of cat". So, if you told me that you have a lot of cat, I think that you're going to invite me to eat the cat that you have, because you have a large portion of cat for me to eat. I have never eaten cat. I probably would, but I don't think you would like me to eat your cat, so you have to say: "I have a lot of cats." Meow. Crazy cat ladies, hello.

Next one, I hear people say: "Oh, my city has many tree." Huh, okay. Well, "many", which means the same as "a lot" or "several", again, you need the "s". So, you have to say... Not "tress". "My city has many trees."

One more that's even more confusing for you guys is "too many". Now, "many", and "a lot", and "several" are always positive things. Okay? But "too many" is always a bad thing or a negative thing.