4. -ED Pronunciation

Regular past simple verbs and past perfect verbs, plus some adjectives, end in -ed. 


wanted

danced

saved


There are three possible pronunciations of -ED.

So many students struggle with -ED pronunciation, but I have a really simple way of learning how to instantly know which ending to use.


If a root word ends in /t/ or /d/ - like 

  • part
  • end
  • test
  • need

Then the -ed ending is pronounced /ɪd/

  • parted - /’pɑːtɪd/
  • ended /’endɪd/
  • tested /’testɪd/
  • needed /’niːdɪd/


If the root word doesn’t end in /t/ or /d/ - does it end in a vowel or a voiced consonant? Does it end with voice? (This means you can feel the vibrations in your throat when you come to finish saying the word.) We match voiced with voiced.


If this applies to the root verb, then -ed is pronounced /d/


For example:

  • dined - /daɪnd/
  • loved - /lʌvd/
  • complied - /kəmˈplaɪd/
  • remembered - /rɪˈmembəd/ (remember that if a word ends with r, it is not pronounced)


If the root verb ends with an unvoiced consonant sound, then -ed is pronounced /t/. We match unvoiced with unvoiced (otherwise it would be very hard to say!)


For example:

  • clapped - /klæpt/
  • kicked - /kɪkt/
  • danced - /dɑːnst/
  • washed - /wɒʃt/


This rule also applies to adjectives, but there are many more exceptions:


Ending in /t/ or /d/ -  /ɪd/


insulted - /ɪnˈsʌltɪd/

beaded - /ˈbiːdɪd/


Voiced consonant/vowel /d/: 

soothed - /suːðd/

moved - /muvd/


unvoiced consonant /t/: 

distressed - /dɪˈstrest/

astonished - /əˈstɒnɪʃt/


ANOMALIES:


There are lots of irregular adjectives that are pronounced with /ɪd/ instead of /d/ or /t/.


Examples:

naked

jagged

rugged

dogged

wicked

crooked

wretched

aged

beloved


Most have a /g/ or /k/ sound, but there are exceptions to the exceptions!