New ELE Flashcard Flipbook Available Now!
We are pleased to announce that our new ELE Flashcard Flipbook is ready! You can watch a demo video of preview pages in the video above (NOTE that some pages are missing in the preview version but the full .exe verson to buy has all 110 pages).
We offer a FREE online version of the book which you can access by following the link below:
Enter: eleflashcard to access. Simple!
The online version can be used in your web browser from any device (computer, laptop, phone and tablet).
Alternatively, if you prefer a faster, smoother version of the ELE Flashcard Flipbook you can purchase the offline version which comes as a .exe file and can be launched directly from your computer. (NOTE: This version can only be used from your computer).
You can find the ELE Flashcard Flipbook at our ELE Shop.
We hope to add more Flipbooks for you to use in your classrooms soon.
In the meantime it may be useful to read a bit more about plural ‘s’ below to help you use the book more effectively with your pupils and students
Plural ‘s’ in English.
In English plural countable nouns are nouns we add an ‘s’ to express that there is more than one. For example a cup (one cup), two cups, a bag (one bag), three bags, an apple (one apple), four apples, an orange (one orange), five oranges.
English generally has three ‘s’ sounds when it comes to plural countable nouns. These are /s/ /z/ and /ɪz/.
When describing English sounds, we usually say /s/ is voiceless (a slight whistling air comes out your mouth as you make the sound) and /z/ is voiced (you feel a stronger vibrating sound in your throat). This is illustrated below:
/ɪz/ is also voiced because it has /z/ in it.
The general rule for knowing when plural ‘s’ (the last letter ‘s’ you see in plural countable nouns like cups, herbs, oranges) is that:
- If the final letter of the word is a voiceless sound the plural ‘s’ sound is /s/. Remember voiceless + voiceless.
- If the final letter of the word is a voiced sound, the plural ‘s’ is /z/. Remember voiced + voiced.
You can see this with the chart below (which you can also download for free to use with the ELE Flashcard Flipbook):
Based on the above you can see that most words in English end with a /z/ sound. That’s because all vowels in English are voiced and most of the consonant sounds are voiced too (you can read our blog about English sounds here).
Words which end with voiceless sounds are: cup /p/, hat /t/, sock /k/, cliff /f/ and moth /θ/. As a result, any word which ends with these sounds will have /s/ in their plural form.
As for /ɪz/ this is the sound for plural countable nouns ending with the following sounds:
- /s/ which you can hear in the letters ‘c’, ‘x’. For example ‘fence, fences‘ and ‘box boxes‘.
- /z/ which you can hear in the letters ‘s’ and ‘z’. For example ‘cheese cheeses‘ and ‘maze mazes‘
- /ʃ/ which you can hear in the letters ‘sh’. For exampled ‘dish dishes‘.
- /ʧ/ which you can hear in the letters ‘ch’ and ‘tch’. For example ‘watch watches‘.
- /ʤ/ which you can hear in letters ‘j’ and ‘g’. For example ‘jumper’ and ‘orange oranges‘. (We will write a seperate blog on this sound because in English it can be difficult o know when ‘g’ is /g/ or /ʤ/).
Any word which ends with those sounds will usually have /ɪz/ in their plural form.
REMEMBER This rule is for COUNTABLE NOUNS. This rule also applies to VERBS. For example:
- I cook He cooks /s/
- I dig She digs /z/
- I wash He washes /ɪz/
Why is this important?
For many speakers this is not a big problem and generally does not effect communication. However, this is an interesting feature of English pronunciation and practising this will help speakers who struggle with ending sounds in English.
This is especially noticeable with Vietnamse and Thai speakers who tend to leave many English words open (without an ending sound). By using this interesting pronunciation feature of English teachers can help their pupils and students become more accurate with their pronunciation of plural countable nouns and also encourage their pupils and students to pronounce English words in full with the ending sounds.
Give it a try and see if your pupils and students pronunciation improves over time.
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