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Many English learners find it challenging to say ‘-ed’ ending in english and past participle forms of regular verbs.

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A significant number of English learners struggle with correctly pronouncing the ‘-ed’ ending in regular verbs’ past tense and past participle forms, such as ‘asked,’ ‘landed,’ or ‘explored.’

Let’s quickly review the verb forms:

  V1  +       ed        =          V2             or              V3

    Verb base                        past simple              past participle

Examples:

Past Simple    ask ed = asked. She asked her husband where her book was.

Past Participle ask + ed = askedHenry has asked her name.

Note that if the base verb ends with the letter “e,” only add “d” to form the past tense.

For example: like + d = liked

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3 Rules for Pronouncing the –ed ending in English

  •    If the base verb ends in k, s, ch, sh, the, p, f(gh), then the –ed ending sounds like “t.”

For example, lik + ed is pronounced as lik-/t/; watch-ed is pronounced as watch-/t/; and laugh-ed is pronounced as laugh-/t/.

  •    If the base verb ends in t, d, then the –ed ending sounds like “id.”

For example, wait-ed is pronounced as wait-/id/; land-ed is pronounced as land-/id/.

  •    If the base verb ends in another letter, the –ed ending sounds like “d.”

For example, play-ed is pronounced as play-/d/; answer-ed is pronounced as answer-/d/; and burn-ed is pronounced as burn-/d/.

There are a few irregular verbs whose past tense forms also end in –ed. They follow the same rules as regular verbs. For example:

  •         Sew – sewed (sew/d/) – sewn
  •         Show – showed (show/d/) – shown

Practice pronouncing the –ed ending by reading and listening to English

Here’s a method for practicing the pronunciation of the ‘-ed’ ending:

  1.       Print out a text where there are many words with the –ed ending.
  2.       Over every verb, make a note of how to pronounce the –ed ending.
  3.       Find an audio recording of the text 
  4.       Play the recording and listen to the correct pronunciation of the verbs you marked.
  5.       Listen again and try to imitate the speaker, copying both the pace and intonation.

Try this method, and you’ll see that it works.

What is your English level?

Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.