There are three ways to pronounce the final –ed of regular verbs in the simple past. This pronunciation is determined by the final sound of the verb in the base form: Is it a voiced consonant, an unvoiced consonant, or a vowel sound? Learn more about vowel sounds and voiced and unvoiced sounds in the lesson on English phonetics. Before you continue, review the lesson on the simple past.
Note that in all the examples below the first column represents the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbol for the final sound of the verb in its base form.
After unvoiced sounds such as p, f, s, k, , and the final –ed is pronounced like t as in the word cat. Note that the –e remains silent. Click on the words to hear the sound files.
After voiced sounds such as b, g, v, z, , , m, n, ŋ, l, , and r the final –ed sound is pronounced like d as in good. Note that the –e remains silent.
The final –ed is also pronounced like the d in good after all vowel sounds. Note that the –e again remains silent.
For verbs ending in d and t the final –ed is pronounced Id as in the final two letters of the word did.
Note here that the –e is not silent and this final –ed sound adds another syllable to the end of the verb.
Remember, if the base form of the verb does not end with a d or a t, no extra syllable is added.