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Pronouncing -ed endings, rules for -d, -t and -id sounds

Endings of words that use the suffix -ed are pronounced in 3 different ways in English – as
an added –t or –d sound, or as an extra syllable, -id. It is actually quite easy to spot the
difference between these different pronunciations, as this short explanation, with
exercises, should demonstrate.
-ed endings with -t or –d sounds
Words usually ending with the following sounds add a –t sound when you add –ed:
K, S, Ch, Sh, F, P, Th
Examples include click – clicked (pronounced clickt), march – marched (pronounced
marcht), stop – stopped (stopt).
Most words ending with other sounds add a –d sounds:
A, B, E, G, H, I , J, L, M, N, O, Q, R, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
Examples include earn – earned (pronounced earnd), turn – turned (turnd).
It is not really necessary to learn these lists, however, as the –t or –d sound should come
quite naturally – when you try to say marched – marchd, it is likely to sound like marcht.
There is also some flexibility here, as is shown by the existence of some alternative
spellings of verbs, such as learned and learnt, burned and burnt and earned and earnt –
all of which have been used as acceptable alternative spellings (and pronunciations) in
English.
-ed endings with the –id sound
The –ed ending adds an extra syllable to words when it is pronounced –id, which is
actually more generally an unpronounced sound – the schwa. This pronunciation is used
when –ed is added to words ending with either a –t or –d sound:
D, T
For example, land – landed (pronounced landid) and wait – waited (waitid).
This essentially means what you need to remember is D or T ending words add a syllable
with –ed, other words simply add the d or t sound.
Exceptions to the rule
A number of words that fit into the –d pattern of pronunciation are actually pronounced with
the extra syllable, -id form. These need to be learned separately.
• aged
• blessed
• crooked
• dogged
• learned
• naked
• ragged
• wicked
• wretched

It’s worth noting that some of these words can be pronounced in two forms – with an
added –d sound or an added syllable, -id. Sometimes, the pronunciation can change the
meaning. For example, learned, pronounced learnd is used as the past, or past participle,
of to learn (I learned a new word today.), while learned, pronounced learnid (an extra
syllable) is used as an adjective to mean educated.
Any questions, please let me know in the comments – otherwise check back here for
updated articles, as I will follow this explanation with a few exercises to practice this
understanding.

REGULAR VERBS IN THE PAST: The : /d/ , /t/ , / id/ sounds

Regular verbs

Pronunciation in the past

There are three pronunciation sounds in the Regular Verbs when


they are pronounced in the past.

It is pronounced /d/ It is pronounced /t/ It is pronounced: /id/


When the last sound When the last sound When the last sound
is: l, m, n, r, v, b, z and is: ss, sh, ch, k, p is:
vowel sound. t or d
This is called: voiced This is called:
sound voiceless sound
/d/ /t/ /id/

1- call- called 1- reduce – 1- expect –


2- earn –earned reduced expected
3- fry – fried 2- dress – 2- divide – divided
4- die – died dressed 3- invade –
5- employ – 3- depress – invaded
employed depressed 4- expropriate –
6- deploy – 4- watch – expropriated
deployed watched 5- found – founded
7- open – opened 5- kiss – kissed 6- dust –dusted
8- hug – hugged 6- ask – asked 7- last – lasted
9- realize – 7- talk – talked 8- demand –
realized 8- stop – stopped demanded
10- smell – smelled 9- hope – hoped 9- hand – handed
11- seem –seemed 10-finish – finished 10-flood – flooded
12-appear - 11- work – worked 11-depart –
appeared 12-tape – taped departed
13-believe – 13-tap – tapped 12-land – landed
believed 14-lick – licked 13-shout – shouted
14-envy –envied 15-push - pushed 14-want – wanted
15-owe – owed 15-need - needed
16-own – owned
17-weigh – weighed 16-wash – washed 16- count –
18- amaze – counted
amazed 17-wait – waited
19- describe – 18- halt – halted
described 19-defend –
20- pull – pulled defended
21- jeer – jeered 20-complicate -
22- offer – offered complicated
23-calm – calmed 21- Indicate -
24-accustom – indicated
accustomed
25-worry – worried
26- confuse –
confused
27-snow – snowed
28- live – lived
29-mob – mobbed
30-move – moved
31- try – tried
32-gain – gained
33- dare – dared
34- tie – tied
35- decay –
decayed
36- occur –
occurred
37- tame – tamed
38- pray – prayed
39- lie – lied
40-vacuum –
vacuumed