I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arhur Conan Doyle : "Thank you sir, said, the seaman, touching his forelock. I am just off a two-yearer in an eight-knot tramp, short-handed at that, and I WANTS a rest". Is it just a spelling mistake (I am using a book from Wordsworth classics) or 'I' does take an 's' in some situations ?

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    – tchrist
    Dec 12, 2020 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


It's slang, probably colloquial. A New England farmer might say "That fence wants some painting". Also, the author is trying to portray a person with little education, and this is illustrated by their misunderstanding the proper verb tense. In America you might hear someone say "She woke", or "She wake up a little while ago." English verb tenses are hard.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange! This isn't really an answer to the specific question, "Can the first person singular pronoun 'I' take in 's' in the simple present?". "That fence wants ... "* is normal grammar. "I wants ... " is not. Also the OP didn't ask about the past tense. I hope this helps! Dec 1, 2020 at 13:43
  • Dust are our frames; and gilded dust, our pride Looks only for a moment whole and sound; Like that long-buried body of the king, Found lying with his urns and ornaments, Which at a touch of light, an air of heaven, Slipt into ashes and was found no more. --Tennyson 1793 Dec 1, 2020 at 13:53
  • With respect: How is that relevant to the the academic standard to which this forum as a whole aspires? All games have rules - otherwise confusion results. You may like to read the guidelines where it says, "This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat... Ask questions, get answers, no distractions" - english.stackexchange.com/tour Dec 1, 2020 at 13:58
  • 1
    I mean no disrespect, but I thought it was obvious that the phrase "I wants" is under scrutiny because of it's irregularity. I felt the premise was to prove if it was correct English or not which I felt that I addressed when called it "Slang". I never presumed that slang was proper just that it exists. Apologies. Dec 1, 2020 at 14:06
  • No apologies needed - It took me a long time to get the hang of it here! I still get pulled up now and again :-) As long as things remain dispassionate we muddle along amicably. Dec 1, 2020 at 14:21

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