How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips (2024)

How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips (1)Learning cursive is learning an entirely new writing system. While it has many similarities to the letters in print writing, cursive is also quite different—and the cursive s is one of the letters that frequently throw people off.

In this article, we’ll show you how to write an uppercase cursive s and lowercase s in cursive. We’ll even get a little inventive and show you how to write a fancy s!

What Does a Cursive S Look Like?

If you want to learn cursive, it’s a good idea to study exactly what cursive letters look like. Cursive s looks much like its print counterpart in some ways, and very different in others.

A capital s in cursive looks quite a bit like the print s; even if you don’t know cursive, you can probably recognize the letter. One of the biggest differences is that tell-tale hook off to the left, which is used to connect the capital s to the next letter in a word.

The lowercase cursive s is less recognizable if you’re not familiar with cursive. It almost looks like a little sail, with a line extending up and to the right to connect to the next letter. Because cursive is meant to be written faster than print, understanding how the letters connect can help you be a faster writer!

How to Make an Uppercase S In Cursive

Uppercase cursive s is a little easier to parse, so let’s start by learning how to write one.

Use lined paper. This will help you keep the shape of your s intact, even when it gets loopy.

Start with your pencil on the bottom of a pair of lines.

How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips (2)

Draw a diagonal , somewhat curved line reaching toward the top of the pair of lines.

How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips (3)

Draw a little loop that will take your pen direction back toward the bottom of the page.

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Cross back over the first line while drawing a soft little semi-circle—here you can see the shape of a print s.

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Continue past where you’d normally stop if you were drawing a print s, crossing over your diagonal line.

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Draw a little hook off to the right, which you’ll use to connect the s to the next letter.

How to Make a Lowercase S in Cursive

Now let’s try a lowercase s. Though it looks a lot like a little sail, you want to learn to draw it in the correct order so that you can keep your speed up.

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Draw a little ski-jump shape that goes up halfway between your two lines.

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Draw half of a teardrop shape going back down to the bottom line, connecting it to your ski-jump going up.

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Without picking up your pen, draw a line extending to the side to connect to the next letter.

Cursive S Variations

One of the fun things about cursive is adding a little personal flair. Cursive can be quite beautiful on its own, and adding a little hint of calligraphy can take it to the next level. Take a look at some of these calligraphy-inspired cursive s variations!

How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips (10)

3 Key Tips for Making a Fancy S in Cursive

Still struggling to write a great capital s in cursive or lowercase s in cursive? These tips will help you master this letter!

Don’t Pick Up Your Pen

Cursive is meant to be written quickly and in a more streamlined fashion than print, so don’t pick up your pen from the paper as you’re writing. Though some letters may require you to pick up your pen to dot or cross them, that’s not true of s, so keep that pen on the paper!

Remember That Cursive Is Connected

Cursive letters are almost always connected together to make writing quicker. Both lowercase and capital s in cursive have lines connected them to the next letter. Don’t forget those lines, or your s won’t look quite right.

Make Letters Your Own

Though it might seem like cursive has to be very accurate to be legible, you actually have some leeway to make your s your own. If you prefer your lowercase s to look more like a print s, that’s okay! Or maybe you like a little embellishment to make the capital cursive s look even fancier. It’s up to you—as long as the basic form is there, people will be able to read your writing.

What’s Next?

Want to learn more about all the letters of the alphabet? Check out these alphabet games!

If writing is your thing, maybe you'd like to make it your career. These creative writing programs are some of the best!

There's more than one way to write an s—and there's more than one way to write, too! Check out this list of types of writing styles to give you all the info on different ways to write effectively.

Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!

How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips (11)

Melissa Brinks

About the Author

Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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How to Write a Cursive S: 3 Calligraphy Tips (2024)


Why does cursive S look like that? ›

The long s can be traced back to Roman times, when the lowercase s typical took an elongated form in cursive writing in Latin. According to librarians at the New York Academy of Medicine, people were using the long s at the beginning and middle of words by the 12th century.

Why did old s look like F? ›

Why in old English text was an 's' written as an 'f'? It wasn't; it was just written differently according to its position in the word. The f-like s (like an f without the crossbar) was a tall variant used at the start or in the middle of a word, which the modern s was used at the end or after a tall s.

Why did s's look like F's? ›

Similarity to letter f

There was no nub in its italic type form, which gave the stroke a descender that curled to the left and which is not possible without kerning in the other type forms mentioned. For this reason, the short s was also normally used in combination with f: for example, in "ſatisfaction".

When did s stop looking like F? ›

"Long 's' fell out of use in Roman and italic typography well before the middle of the 19th century; in French the change occurred from about 1780 onwards, in English in the decades before and after 1800, and in the United States around 1820.

What does a fancy S look like? ›

The Cool S consists of 14 line segments, forming a stylized, pointed S-shape. It has also been compared to the infinity symbol. The tails (pointy ends) of the S appear to link underneath so that it loops around on itself in the same way as the infinity symbol does.

What is s called? ›

S-cedilla (majuscule: Ş, minuscule: ş) is a letter used in some of the Turkic languages. It occurs in the Azerbaijani, Gagauz, Turkish, and Turkmen alphabets. It is also planned to be in the Latin-based Kazakh alphabet.

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