A Common Mistake English Students Make With Verbs+ED

A Common Mistake English Students Make With Verbs+ED

As we know in the past tense regular verbs end with ED:

  • work-worked
  • dance-danced

Although sometimes it’s not clear how to pronounce this suffix.  

Many students tend to pronounce -ED as ‘eed’ or ‘eet’. So, ‘worked’ sounds like ‘workeet’. 

In reality, it’s pronounced as ‘ɪd’ only after T or D. 

  • ‘guided’ – /gaɪdɪd/
  • ‘knitted’ /nɪtɪd/  

In other cases, there’s no ‘ɪ’ and only ‘t’ or ‘d’ are pronounced. 

1. If there’s a voiced sound before -ED, it’s pronounced as /d/.  

  • play → played /pleɪd
  • clean /kliːn/ → cleaned / kliːnd/
  • call /kɑːl/ → called /kɑːld/   

2. If there’s a voiceless sound before -ED, it’s pronounced as /t/. 

  • stop /stɑːp/ → stopped /stɑːpt/
  • work /wɜrk/ → worked /wɜrkt/  

Voiceless sounds are ch, f, k, p, s, sh, t, and th (as in ‘think’). 

All the rest are voiced, including ng (as in ring), s (as in ‘cars’), th (as in ‘this’) and vowels (a, e, i, o, u).  

Here’s a tutorial from pronunciation coach Hadar Shemesh, so you can listen to how to pronounce the words.

Hope it helps. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
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Britannica: phonetics
Britannica: Pronunciation of -ed Endings on Verbs
Grammarly: What are Vowels

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