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Acting in reverse manner, plural noun takes ‘s’ (apples, chalks) while verb in singular form, present tense takes ‘s’ (she prefers, he attends). Why is it so?

Wrote Miss syndrome under Creative Writing category sometime back which not sure keep live.

Acting in reverse manner, plural noun takes ‘s’ (apples, chalks) while verb in singular form, present tense takes ‘s’ (she prefers, he attends). Miss acts both as noun and verb. Miss as verb means something not attained like X misses Y while on vacation. Subject to Y being female, this can be rewritten: X misses Miss Y where capital Miss is noun (abbreviated as Ms.). When hit is excess, reverse rule comes into action in behavior so often like a cool character converting to earthquake-like personality after a period of stress. Missing your favorite miss can overwhelmingly redefine your perception where anything you could not hold is a miss, be it catch miss, goal miss…

So, should I immediately remove the above or the writing makes some sense?

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    The two "suffixes" have completely different origins, so there isn't really a concept of Why? in the first place - the third person singular verb ending just happens to have ended up being the same letter/sound as the default used to convey plural in nouns. – FumbleFingers Sep 5 '16 at 13:21
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    The identity of three of the remaining eight inflectional affixes in English (noun plural, noun possessive, and verb 3sPr inflections are all {-Z}) is evidence only of the growing irrelevance of inflection as English changes to a completely analytic language like Vietnamese. Many English dialects around the world don't distinguish 3sPr verbs from 1sP verbs, or singular nouns from plural, depending on context or additional words to be clear. And they often succeed. There is no Why? answer, but the fact that it can happen is evidence of the relative power of inflections. – John Lawler Sep 5 '16 at 14:11
  • I am, you are, he is -- the three "persons" (sometimes) have different verb forms. It just so happens (an "accident" of etymology) that the 3rd person singular forms of many verbs end with "S". This has nothing to do with the use of "S" to change nouns from singular to plural. – Hot Licks Sep 5 '16 at 16:41
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    Careful with "chalk" -- the plural would usually not have an 's'. Also, have you taken a look at ell.stackexchange.com -- another great site. – aparente001 Sep 5 '16 at 20:50
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There are six persons in English, but we don't use the second person singular any more. The full present tense conjugation of a regular verb used to follow this pattern: I fall, thou fallest, he/she/it falleth, we fall, you fall, they fall.

In modern English the second person singular disappears and the second person plural is used in its place. Also the ending of the third person singular has changed from -eth to -s, this gives the familiar: I fall, you fall, he/she/it falls, we fall, you fall, they fall.

The plural 's' on nouns, however, is even older than than the third person -s ending of verbs so the two endings are unrelated. See the links below for more history. http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-plu1.htm

http://www.nativlang.com/middle-english/middle-english-grammar.php

  • At what point was the switch made for the verb endings? Do you which country started this movement? – Satbir Kira Mar 8 '18 at 16:53
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In a comment to the asker, FumbleFingers answered:

The two "suffixes" have completely different origins, so there isn't really a concept of Why? in the first place - the third person singular verb ending just happens to have ended up being the same letter/sound as the default used to convey plural in nouns.

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In a comment to the asker, John Lawler answered:

The identity of three of the remaining eight inflectional affixes in English (noun plural, noun possessive, and verb 3sPr inflections are all {-Z}) is evidence only of the growing irrelevance of inflection as English changes to a completely analytic language like Vietnamese. Many English dialects around the world don't distinguish 3sPr verbs from 1sP verbs, or singular nouns from plural, depending on context or additional words to be clear. And they often succeed. There is no Why? answer, but the fact that it can happen is evidence of the relative power of inflections.

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In a comment to the asker, Hot Licks answered:

I am, you are, he is -- the three "persons" (sometimes) have different verb forms. It just so happens (an "accident" of etymology) that the 3rd person singular forms of many verbs end with "S". This has nothing to do with the use of "S" to change nouns from singular to plural.

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