Many students of English as a Second Language have trouble with the pronunciation of –ed when it’s used to form the past tense or the past participle of a regular verb, such as asked, landed or explored.
Let’s quickly revise their structures:
V1 + ed = V2 or V3
verb base past simple past participle
Past Simple play + ed = played. Ana played tennis yesterday afternoon.
Past Participle play + ed = played. Ana has played tennis many times.
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Note that if the base verb ends in “e” we only have to add “d” to form the past form. Example: like + d = liked
The pronunciation of –ed follows these rules:
If the regular base verb’s last sound is:
1. k, s, ch, sh, th, p, f(gh)… then –ed is pronounced /t/
Example: lick-ed is pronounced lick-/t/
watch-ed is pronounced watch-/t
laugh-ed is pronounced laugh-/t/
2. t, d ……………………………then –ed is pronounced /id/
Example: wait-ed is pronounced wait-/id/
land-ed is pronounced land-/id/
3. everything else …………then –ed is pronounced /d/
Example: play-ed is pronounced play-/d/
answer-ed is pronounced answer-/d/
close-ed is pronounced close-/d/ Note that the last sound in close is a z!
There are a few irregular verbs whose past simple form end in –ed and follow the same pronunciation rules as for regular verbs, e.g. sew sewed (sew/d/) sewn; show showed (show/d/) shown.
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