Pronouncing ‘-ed’ At the End of a Word

How do you pronounce ‘-ed’ past tense at the end of a word? As you probably already noticed, there are different ways pronouncing ‘-ed’ at the end of a word. Strange, isn’t it?

Well, here’s the rule that will help you to not make any mistakes again. ‘-Ed’ at the end of a verb always indicates past tense. For example, ‘-ed’ will sound like a ‘t’ in the word ‘liked’ ‘washed’, and ‘ripped’. The reason for this is that the consonant sound before ‘-ed’ is voiceless so you use air, but not voice when pronouncing ‘-ed’.

For instance, in the word ‘like’, the ‘k’ sound has only air with no voice. Therefore, it’s natural to pronounce the ‘-ed’ like a ‘t’. It’s difficult to say ‘liked’ with a voiced ‘-ed’. That’s why we don’t say it that way. Sometimes, ‘-ed’ sounds like ‘d’. That’s when the sound before ‘-ed’ is voiced. For example, you would say ‘cared’ with a voiced ‘-ed’ ending.

Now just to make matters more interesting, sometimes ‘-ed’ at the end of a word sounds like a separate syllable. It sounds like ‘-ed’ such as in the word ‘ended’ or ‘waited’. Well how do you know when to pronounce ‘-ed’ as a separate syllable? You will use this ‘-ed’ pronounciation when you have a ‘-ted’, or a ‘-ded’ at the end of a word. In this case, ‘-ed’ always sounds like a separate syllable.

Practice these variations of pronouncing ‘-ed’. Before you know it, you’ll be really good at it.

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