Past Simple Verbs – Pronunciation
Something that many of my students have found difficult to understand is how to correctly pronounce verbs in the past tense. You see, in English, sometimes we use sound like “ed” and other times we just use a sound like “d”. There is even a third option – “t”. Then, of course, there are also irregular verbs too! It is easy to get confused.
Here are the three rules for regular verbs. If you remember these then you will be correct 99% of the time.
Rule 1 – -ed becomes /t/ following these sounds : Ch, F, K, P, S, Sh and Th (as in “thing”).
For these sounds, the verbs in the past simple take a “t” sound. For example :
Crunched, Stuffed, Clucked, Stopped, Kissed, Pushed, Smoothed
Rule 2 – -ed becomes /d/ following these sounds : B, G, J, L, M, N, Ng, R, Sz, Th (as in the word “then”), V, W, Y, and Z.
For these sounds, the verbs in the past simple take a “d” sound. For example :
Robbed, Begged, Called, Calmed, Questioned, Wronged, Toured, Waved, Enjoyed
Rule 3 – -ed becomes /ɪd/ following t or d
If a verb ends in the letters t or d, the -ed ending is pronounced with the syllable /ɪd/ (also written as /əd/ or /ed/—the same vowel sound as the word “it”). For example :
Added, Regretted, Avoided, Affected, Intended, Assisted