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Thursday, 10 May 2018 18:56

How to pronounce /-ed/ at the end of a Verb

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English is a crazy language!


For example, sometimes DIFFERENT letters make the SAME sounds, like: "Daisy is in great shape."

But at other times, the SAME letters make DIFFERENT sounds, like: "Eat bread & steak."

So it is with the /-ed/ at the end of many verbs. In fact, you can put regular verbs into the past tense by just putting an /-ed/ at the end. It's like this:

We play today. We played yesterday.

The problem, though, is the pronounciation of that /-ed/. In fact, there are THREE ways to say it, based on what word it is in. Let me explain; there are three rules.


Rule 1: If the base word ends with a /d/ or /t/ SOUND, add an extra syllable so that the word ends with the /-id/ sound. (NOTE: Some English words end with the /d/ or /t/ SOUND, but that is not that actual letter. For example, "hate" ends with an /e/, but the /t/ sound.

hated (hate-id)

wanted (want-id)

painted (paint-id)

ended (end-id)

decided (decide-id)

suggested (suggest-id)

started (start-id)

completed (complete-id)

repeated (repeat-id)

budgeted (budget-id)


Rule 2: If the base word ends with the sounds "p," "f," "s," "x," "ch," "sh," or "k," then the word ends with the /t/ sound. Again, be careful. The word "promise" ends with the letter "e," but it ends with the /s/ SOUND. "Laugh" ends with the letters "gh," but it ends with the /f/ SOUND.

hoped /t/

laughed /t/

based /t/

faxed /t/

watched /t/

washed /t/

liked /t/

talked /t/

walked /t/

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Rule 3: This is the easiest rule of the three; all other sounds end with /d/!

played /d/

cried /d/

cleaned /d/

grabbed /d/

allowed /d/

mentioned /d/


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Read 18223 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 July 2018 12:57
Scott Dreyer

A licensed teacher in the US state of Virginia since 1987, Scott Dreyer has been helping Chinese speakers improve their English since 1989. Dreyer lived in Taiwan from 1989-1999 where he learned Mandarin, met his wife, started his family, and realized he loved working with Chinese students. He became an award-winning author and started teaching ESL online in 2008. Dreyer and his wife and their four adult children make their home in the beautiful Roanoke Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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