Pronouncing -ed at the ends of words
There are 3 ways to pronounce the final -ed in a word.
- -ed = /id/
- -ed = /d/
- -ed = /t/
How do you know which sound goes with which word? Look at these verbs:
Kissed, hoped, learned, played, wanted, sounded
Which sound goes with which word?
Here are the rules...
If the last sound of the word is unvoiced* ( also called voicless and uses no only air to make the sound) except t, the -ed will sound like /t/.
Look at the words kiss and hope. The last sound of kiss is /s/. It doesn't use the voice to make the sound. So, the -ed will not use a voice to make a sound either. The word sounds like /kist/. The word hope ends with /p/. It doesn't use the voice so /t/ is at the end. It sounds like /hopt/.
Voiceless consonants in English include: /f/, /k/, /p/, /s/, /ʃ/ (also written as /sh/, as in the first sound in “shirt”), /tʃ/ (also written as /ch/, as in the first sound in “cheese”), and /θ/ (also written as /th/, as in the first sound in “thanks”)
If the last sound of the word is voiced* (uses some noise to make the sound) except d, the -ed will sound like /d/.
Look at the words learned and played. The last sound of learn is /n/. It uses the voice. The -ed will also have a voice sound like /d/. So learned sounds like /lernd/. Play also has a voiced sound at the end. Played is pronounced /pleid/.
Voiced consonants in English include: /b/, /dʒ/ (as in the first sound in “jump”), /ʒ/ (also written as /zh/, as in the final sound in “beige”), /g/, /j/ (also written as /y/, as in the first sound in “yes”), /l/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/ (the “ing” sound), /ð/ (also written as /th/, as in the first sound in “there”), /r/, /v/, /w/, /z/, and any vowel sound.
If the last sound to the word is /d/ or /t/, the -ed will sound like /id/.
Look at the words wanted and mended. They end with a /t/ or /d/. Wanted sounds like /wantid/ and mended sounds like /mendid/.
Note: Don't think about the spelling; only think about the final sound. For example, cough sounds like /kaf/. /f/ is unvoiced. Coughed is /kaft/.
*If you are not sure if a sound is voiced or unvoiced, put your hand on your throat when you say the sound. If it is voiced, you will feel a vibration, or movement, in your throat. If it is unvoiced, you will feel nothing in your throat.
Play the audio file and repeat the words below under each rule.
-ed as /t/
Say /t/ when the -ed ending follows a voiceless sound.
-ed as /d/
Say /d/ when the -ed ending follows a voiced sound.
-ed as /ɪd/
Say /ɪd/ when the -ed ending follows a /t/ or /d/.