s as in his

Plural and/or 3rd person present verbsWith “split” vowel spellings/silent final e
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
yellsrb
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 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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