Speak English Like a Native: How to pronounce the –ed ending


ed ending

Pronouncing the –ed ending in English

One of the most common mistakes made by students learning English as a second language is to mispronounce the –ed ending. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest English pronunciation mistakes to learn and correct.

“ed” endings may be pronounced in one of the following three ways:

Note: There are several exceptions to the rules explained below. Each of the
following words do not follow the “ed” ending rules. For these words, the “ed” ending is
pronounced like “id”. Below are some examples of this exception
blessed    crooked     dogged
naked     ragged        wicked      wretched

Rule 1:

“ed” endings are pronounced “t” if the end of the word sounds like:

K, S, Ch, Sh, F, P, Th

Example: I helped my mom make cookies yesterday.

Rule 2:

“ed” endings are pronounced “id” if the end of the word sounds like:

T or D

Example: I wanted to go to the beach last weekend.

• In this example, the end of the word “want” sounds like T. So, the “ed” ending is
pronounced “id”.

Rule 3:

“ed” endings are pronounced “d” for all other ending sounds:

A, B, E, G, H, I , J, L, M, N, O, Q, R, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Example: I played soccer this afternoon.

• In this example, the end of the word “play” sounds like Y. So, the “ed” ending is
pronounced “d”.

Now you try practicing these –ed endings with the proper pronunciation in English:

Example: We wrapped the Christmas presents last night. ____T____
1) I laughed at the joke. __________
2) Our work is finished. __________
3) The snake killed the mouse. __________
4) The teacher helped the student. __________
5) When I was younger, I wanted to walk on the moon. __________
6) We hiked to the top of the mountain. __________
7) James rented his apartment. __________
8) We can’t go swimming because the pool is covered. __________
9) That old house is haunted. __________
10) We hunted for her keys, but could not find them. __________

 Example pronunciation with answers:  


If you want to practice your English pronunciation to reduce your accent and sound more like a native English speaker you can find private one-on-one English lessons with Skype here. I have helped many students from Brazil, Germany, China, Russia and many other countries to greatly improve their speaking fluency and accent reduction in English, I can help you too!


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