Remembering to Conjugate Verbs Correctly in the Present Tense

A common mistake that English learners sometimes make is forgetting to add -s to the end of verbs in the present tense if the subject of the sentence is he, she, or it (or can fit into one of those categories).

For example:

CORRECT: Luis wants to earn more money.

INCORRECT: Luis want to earn more money.

This is one of the first rules you learn when learning English, but you’d be surprised how many advanced English language learners leave off the -s at the end of the verb when the subject is he, she, or it.

Some languages do not have this sound at the end of words, so it can be a new pattern to learn. Or, perhaps you never formally learned how to conjugate (or change) verbs in the present tense. Determine whether you think it is a knowledge gap or a bad habit. Then, record yourself describing a present tense situation. A good example would be to describe the daily habits of a loved one: She wakes up at 8am. She drinks coffee...and so on. Next, listen to your recording and analyze it objectively.

How’d you do? If you are consistently using the -s when needed, that is fantastic. If not, create a plan to practice and improve. Noticing your area of improvement is only the first step!

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