Pronunciation: -ed Endings in Regular Simple Past and Past Participle Verbs

 

You can listen to the audio here while you read.

The past simple tense and past participle of all regular verbs end in -ed, for example, walked, stayed, laughed, etc. The question is how do we pronounce the -ed? The answer is, we can pronounce it in 3 ways:

/ɪd/

/t/

/d/

 

If the base verb ends in /t/ or /d/, the -ed ending is pronounced as /ɪd/

• want – wanted ⇒ /ˈwɒnɪd/ or /ˈwɒntɪd/

• end – ended ⇒ /ˈendɪd/

 

If the base verb ends in unvoiced sound /p/, /f/, /s/, /ʃ/, /ʧ/, /th/, and /k/, the -ed ending is pronounced as /t/

• hope – hoped ⇒ /həʊpt/

• laugh – laughed ⇒ /lɑːft/

• fax  – faxed ⇒ /fækst/

• wash – washed ⇒ /wɒʃt/

• watch – watched ⇒ /wɒʧt/

• like – liked ⇒ /ˈlaɪkt/

 

If the base verb ends in voiced sound /l/, /m/, /n/, /j/, /r/, /g/, /b/, /v/, /w/, and /z/, the -ed ending is pronounced as /d/

• play – played ⇒ /pleɪd/

• allow – allowed ⇒ /əˈlaʊd/

• beg – begged ⇒ /beɡd/

Note that it is the sound that is important in pronunciation, not the letter or spelling, for example, ‘fax’ ends in the letter x but the sound /s/; ‘like’ ends in the letter e but the sound /k/.

Now try to answer this question: Which sound do the following words end with?

1. answered – She answered the question correctly.

2. pushed – He pushed the button.

 

3. believed – I believed in you.

 

4. needed – Where were you when I needed you the most?

 

5. melted – The chocolate melted.

 

 

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