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I am new on this forum, English is my second language so every now and then I come across some very confusing rules. Here is my first question:

What time suits you?

Why do we use "s" with suit?

  • would the ELL site be better for this question, Hi2 ? – Fattie Jul 6 '15 at 1:33
  • @ Joe Blow Do you mean ESL site? – Hi2All Jul 6 '15 at 1:38
  • Have you consulted a dictionary about the meanings of 'suit'? – user98990 Jul 6 '15 at 1:52
  • Hi Little Eva, I know the meaning of this word and it's usage as a verb/noun. But my whole confusion is about this rule in present tense --"third person (she/he/it) adds an -s: She works in Berlin". In "What time suits you?" I am asking a question from a second person then why do we add "s" with suit? Is it because time is considered third person in this sentence and suit(verb) depends on it? – Hi2All Jul 6 '15 at 2:11
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    @Hi2All The subject of the question is time; you is the object. Thus, time suits for agreement. – choster Jul 6 '15 at 2:13
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"Time" is singular here and, as such, its verb takes the -s ending. The expected response is a single time, say, "5 o'clock works for me."

"What times suit you?" uses a plural, "times,* and its associated verb without the -s ending. One would expect at least two times to be given in response, say, " Either 5 or 6 works just fine."

Note in the second example the verb is "works," not "work." This is because the noun is "either," which is singular.

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Your example belongs to the present simple tense. In this tense we use 3rd person singular action verbs (goes, runs) with these subjects ( he, she and it). And the basic form of action verbs (go, run) with these subjects (they, we, I and you). The helping verb of these subjects ( he, she and it) is does but we don't use it in the positive statements because it sounds odd and unnecessary. We also use this tense a lot in the present time. It shows our daily actions, universal facts and general facts.

Examples:

He plays (daily action). (positive statement)

He doesn't/does not play. (Negative statement)

Does he play? (Interrogative statement)

play (basic form) played (past simple) played (past participle ) plays (3rd person) playing (ing from)

Now if we want to add the helping verb does in the positive statement it sounds unnecessary and it takes the complete focus. It also puts so much stress on the sentence. You will not feel the stress when you write. But when you say any positive statement and using does in it, you will feel the stress and it takes complete focus of the sentence.

He does play.

In your example What time suits you? Time is a non-living thing and singular it comes under this rule ( he, she and it). So we avoid the helping verb does and use the 3rd person singular action verb.

What time suits you?

suit (basic form) suited (past simple) suited (past participle ) suits (3rd person) suiting (ing from)

I hope it made some sense!

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