Geese, louse, goose, lice.

Rachel Adams

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Is "s" pronounced as "s" in "louse" and "goose" because "u" isn't pronounced as a vowel and in "geese" the the word "geese" is an exception? As I have learnt "s" is pronounced as "z" if it's preceded by a vowel. Then why is it "gis" not "giz".


"louse", "goose", "geese".
 

5jj

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Is "s" pronounced as "s" in "louse" and "goose" because "u" isn't pronounced as a vowel
The ou of louse is a vowel sound

As I have learnt "s" is pronounced as "z" if it's preceded by a vowel.
Where did you learn this? It certainly doesn't apply to these words:

house, louse, mouse, loose, moose, noose, bus, pus
 
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Rachel Adams

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The ou of louse is a vowel sound


Where did you learn this? It certainly doesn't apply to these words:

house, louse, mouse, loose, moose, noose, bus, pus

Is "s" pronounced as "z" at the end of the verb only? For example, "He sees." "She says." Is it only for verbs but not nouns when there is a vowel before "s"?
 

5jj

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I repeat: Where did you learn this?
 

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Is "s" pronounced as "z" at the end of the verb only? For example, "He sees." "She says." Is it only for verbs but not nouns when there is a vowel before "s"?

No. Consider two phrases used in legal jargon but borrowed from Latin: mens rea and res judicata. In both, the s at the end of the noun (the first word) is pronounced like z. There are also plurals like pens and hens. Those final "s"s also sound like z.
 

Rachel Adams

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I repeat: Where did you learn this?

I have learnt that about "s" at the end of the verb, but I misunderstood and thought that "s" pronounced as "z" in nouns too if it's preceeded by a vowel. Regarding the rule about "s" it's mentioned in "Longman English Grammar Practice"by L. G. Alexander. But about verbs, not nouns. I am not saying the book sats that about nouns.

So this rule doesn't apply to nouns, but only verbs. Right?
 

5jj

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It would be interesting to know exactly what Alexander says in his 'rule'.
 

Rachel Adams

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It would be interesting to know exactly what Alexander says in his 'rule'.

One minute. I will upload the screenshot.
 

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I'm not sure what you're saying exactly - your post is slightly incoherent. Where do you get 'u'? Both the 'ou' and 'oo' are example of diphthongs, where two vowel sounds combine to form a new sound slightly different from the individual components.

I think there's a problem with your understanding of the rule you cite. There are plenty of cases where 's' is preceded by a vowel, but pronounced /s/ - gas, yes, bus, this, and countless others.

Are you perhaps referring to the use of apostrophe+S, as in contractions and possessives? In that case, yes, 's' is pronounced as a 'z' if preceded by a vowel sound.

However, that doesn't apply to all cases of words naturally ending in 's' or 'se'.

Edit: If a word can be used as both a verb and a noun, then the verb form is pronounced as 'z', while the noun is pronounced 's' - refuse, abuse, excuse and others.
 

Rachel Adams

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I'm not sure what you're saying exactly - your post is slightly incoherent. Where do you get 'u'? Both the 'ou' and 'oo' are example of diphthongs, where two vowel sounds combine to form a new sound slightly different from the individual components.

I think there's a problem with your understanding of the rule you cite. There are plenty of cases where 's' is preceded by a vowel, but pronounced /s/ - gas, yes, bus, this, and countless others.

Are you perhaps referring to the use of apostrophe+S, as in contractions and possessives? In that case, yes, 's' is pronounced as a 'z' if preceded by a vowel sound.

However, that doesn't apply to all cases of words naturally ending in 's' or 'se'.

Edit: If a word can be used as both a verb and a noun, then the verb form is pronounced as 'z', while the noun is pronounced 's' - refuse, abuse, excuse and others.

No, I am asking about the pronunciation of "s" before vowels. If in verbs it is pronounced as "z" if it is preceeded by a vowel, does this rule apply to nouns too?
 

Skrej

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So again, what you cite in post # 10 is a different case, and applies to making the plural forms. It doesn't apply to words naturally ending in 's' in their singular forms.
 

Rachel Adams

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So again, what you cite in post # 10 is a different case, and applies to making the plural forms. It doesn't apply to words naturally ending in 's' in their singular forms.

So in nouns "s" is pronounced as "z" only when "s" or "es" is added when making a plural form. Right? Could you please help with an example?

Isn't "s" pronounced as "z" in "days" "boys", "keys", and "guys"? These words don't naturally end in "s" in their singular forms, thus "s" is pronounced as "z". Am I right?
 
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5jj

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So in nouns "s" is pronounced as "z" only when "s" or "es" is added when making a plural form. Right?
No. a noun ending in -s never adds simple -s for its plural.
 
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5jj

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As I have learnt "s" is pronounced as "z" if it's preceded by a vowel.
Part of your confusion is that you misunderstood what Alexander said and/or mistakenly tried to apply his words about the third person singular verb ending to other cases. It's very difficult for us to help when you mix things up like this.
 

Rachel Adams

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No. an noun ending in -s never adds simple -s for its plural.

Do I understand correctly? In nouns "s" is pronounced as "z" only when "es" is added to make a plural form. Right? As in "bus" "buses".


The rule mentioned in the book applies to nouns only if they don't have "s" in their singular forms. Otherwise "s" is pronounced as "z" as in "days" "boys", "keys", and "guys". These words have no "s" in singular. As SKrej said "It doesn't apply to words naturally ending in 's' in their singular forms."
The original words I was asking about have "s" in their singular forms."Geese", "louse", "goose".
 

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You're looking for a hard and fast rule that you can apply in all circumstances, which doesn't exit.

The Longman/Alexander text you cite is dealing with adding that 's' for 3rd person singular - note it says to compare 2.5A for plural nouns.

The rules for 3rd person singular verbs also apply to plural nouns formed with 's', as well as possessives formed with apostrophe+s. They do not apply to nouns that naturally already end in 's' or 'se'.

With nouns naturally ending in s/se, then it's not so straightforward and clear-cut. It's more patterns than rules. You can read here for some information, but forget about a nice tidy rule that always applies.

Edit: Woe to me - I hadn't been updating the page and saw after the fact that 5jj had already mentioned much of the same.
 
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Rachel Adams

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You're looking for a hard and fast rule that you can apply in all circumstances, which doesn't exit.

The Longman/Alexander text you cite is dealing with adding that 's' for 3rd person singular - note it says to compare 2.5A for plural nouns.

The rules for 3rd person singular verbs also apply to plural nouns formed with 's', as well as possessives formed with apostrophe+s. They do not apply to nouns that naturally already end in 's' or 'se'.

With nouns naturally ending in s/se, then it's not so straightforward and clear-cut. It's more patterns than rules. You can read here for some information, but forget about a nice tidy rule that always applies.

Edit: Woe to me - I hadn't been updating the page and saw after the fact that 5jj had already mentioned much of the same.

I understand. But does this "rule" exist in English? The one you mentioned. "It doesn't apply to words naturally ending in 's' in their singular forms."
The original words I was asking about have "s" in their singular forms."Geese", "louse", "goose". So the reason "s" is pronounced as "s" in them is because they have "s" in their singular form. Is that right?

Guys, days, keys, boys have no s in their singular forms, so in plural it's pronounced as "z".
 
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5jj

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Words such as louse, mouse, goose form their plural by change of vowel, not by the addition of a suffix. There is no reason why the final /s/ sound should change.
 

Rachel Adams

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Words such as louse, mouse, goose form their plural by change of vowel, not by the addition of a suffix. There is no reason why the final /s/ sound should change.

Unlike other words I was asking about that change their plural by adding a suffix: boys, days, guys, keys. The "s" in them is pronounced as "z". Right?
 
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