s as in his

Plural and/or 3rd person

present verb

With “split” vowel spellings

as

does

is

cos

has

his

was

abs

ads

bags

bans

begs

bells

bids

bills

bins

bogs

bubs

buds

bugs

bums

buns

cabs

cads

cans

chills

chins

chugs

chums

cogs

cons

cubs

cuds

culls

dabs

dads

dags

dams

dells

dens

digs

dills

dins

dogs

dolls

Dons

dubs

duds

dulls

fads

fans

fells

fens

fibs

figs

fills

fins

fogs

gags

gigs

gills

gods

Goths

gulls

gums

guns

hams

haves

hems

hens

hills

hogs

hubs

hugs

hulls

hums

jags

jams

jells

jibs

jigs

jogs

jugs

kegs

kids

kills

labs

lags

legs

lids

lives

logs

lolls

lugs

lulls

mags

mills

mods

moms

mugs

mulls

mums

nabs

nags

nans

nods

nuns

pads

pans

pegs

pens

pigs

pills

pins

pods

polls

Poms

pubs

pugs

puns

rags

rams

reds

ribs

rids

rigs

rims

rods

rolls

rubs

rugs

rums

runs

sags

sells

shams

shells

shins

shuns

sills

sims

sins

subs

suds

sums

suns

tabs

tags

tans

tells

tens

thins

thuds

thugs

tills

tins

togs

tolls

tubs

tugs

vans

wags

webs

weds

wells

wigs

wills

wins

yams

yells

chose

close

fuse

hose

lose

muse

nose

phase

phrase

pose

prise

prose

rise

rose

ruse

these

those

use

whose

wise

abuse

accuse

advertise

advise

agonise (UK)

amuse

analyse (UK)

apologise (UK)

arise

authorise (UK)

baptise (UK)

capitalise (UK)

categorise (UK)

centralise (UK)

chastise

clockwise

colonise (UK)

compose

comprise

compromise

computerise (UK)

conceptualise (UK)

confuse

criticise (UK)

crystallise (UK)

customise (UK)

decompose

demise

depose

despise

devise

diagnose

disclose

disenfranchise

disguise

dispose

dramatise (UK)

economise (UK)

emphasise (UK)

enclose

energise (UK)

enterprise

enthuse

epitomise (UK)

equalise (UK)

excise

excuse

exercise

exorcise

expertise

expose

familiarise (UK)

fantasise (UK)

finalise (UK)

formalise (UK)

franchise

galvanise (UK)

generalise (UK)

harmonise (UK)

hospitalise (UK)

idolise (UK)

immortalise (UK)

immunise (UK)

impose

improvise

infuse

interpose

itemise (UK)

jeopardise (UK)

juxtapose

legalise (UK)

legitimise (UK)

liberalise (UK)

likewise

localise (UK)

manganese

materialise (UK)

maximise (UK)

memorise (UK)

mesmerise (UK)

minimise (UK)

misuse

mobilise (UK)

monopolise (UK)

neutralise (UK)

oppose

optimise (UK)

organise (UK)

otherwise

oxidise (UK)

paralyse (UK)

paraphrase

patronise (UK)

penalise (UK)

perfuse

peruse

polarise (UK)

popularise (UK)

predispose

primrose

privatise (UK)

propose

publicise (UK)

rationalise (UK)

realise (UK)

recognise (UK)

refuse

repose

revise

revitalise (UK)

revolutionise (UK)

scrutinise (UK)

socialise (UK)

specialise (UK)

standardise (UK)

subsidise (UK)

suffuse

summarise (UK)

sunrise

superimpose

supervise

suppose

surmise

surprise

symbolise (UK)

sympathise (UK)

televise

terrorise (UK)

theorise (UK)

transpose

utilise (UK)

vandalise (UK)

victimise (UK)

viscose

visualise (UK)

 

US English often spells these -ise words with -ize, see list here

 

2 thoughts on “s as in his

  1. Jo

    Hi Alison.
    I have come here to ask advice on how to explain why nonplural words such as has, was, is and his end in a ‘z’ sound but are spelt with an s. Is it something to do with the fact that if it was an ‘s’ they would be plural? I read over your blog on plural endings, which was helpful. I also advocate no rules but wanted to point out a pattern (if there is one) to my grade 1 students. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. alison Post author

      Regular plurals written with letter S are pronounced /z/ (the voiced version of /s/) when they occur after a voiced sound, as in “seas”, “buns” and “jobs”, because of coarticulation, so that doesn’t explain why the letter S at the end of words like ‘has’ and ‘is’ is pronounced /z/. I looked up the word “is” on Etymology Online and it says “Until 1500s, pronounced to rhyme with kiss”. So I suggest telling your students “They might have said /s/ not /z/ at the end of all those little words in the Olden Days, but nowadays we say /z/”. This handy Olden Days explanation is actually the correct one for heaps of funny spellings in English. There really was a /w/ sound in ‘two’ like there still is in ‘twins’ and ‘twice’, people really did say the K in “know” and “knit”, and a voiced /h/ sound that has since dropped out of the language in words like “night” and “brought” spelt with a GH. Pronunciation has changed more than spelling over time, and continues to change. Even in my own office, I think “pole” and “poll” are NOT homophones but the younger staff insist they sound identical. There is a Thing called the Salary-Celery merger going on here in Victoria, and kids are starting to pronounce words like “help” more like “halp”, and it shows up in their spelling, you might have seen it if you’re Victorian.

      It’s also worth knowing that sometimes voiced and voiceless pairs of sounds share spellings. My office is in North Fitzroy, and the Z in “Fitzroy” is pronounced /s/, as it is in words like “quartz” and “pretzel”, probably because of coarticulation – it follows a voiceless sound (/t/) so it becomes devoiced. The word “of” ends with a /v/ sound, perhaps because the letter V is a relatively new letter in our alphabet (first appearing in the 1300s, and not in common use till the 1600s), and this sound was originally spelt with letter F. In words like “joked” and “shaped” the final sound is /t/ not /d/, because it comes after a voiceless sound. The second sound in words like “spend” and “spoke” is actually closer to a /b/ than a /t/, but once we are literate we “hear” it as a /p/ because our spoken and written vocabulary is tightly woven together and we write it with P.

      Hope that’s helpful not just more confusing! All the best, Alison

      Reply

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