The 3 Sounds of the Past Tense
The -ed ending has three sounds: T, D and ED. We use T when a word ends in a strong sound such as the ch in watched. We use a D if the word ends in a softer consonant or a vowel as in trained or showed. We use ED if the word ends in D or T as in handed or selected. See the chart below for complete information.
|-ed = t sound||-ed = d sound||-ed = ed sound|
|c/k, f (gh or ph), j (dge), p, s, x, z, sh, ch||b, g, l, m, n, r, w, v, y, a, e, i, o, u||d, t|
|picked, laughed, stopped, released, affixed, washed, matched||bagged, called, roamed, toured, vowed, paid, sighed, showed||attempted, handed, planted, acted, created, dominated, selected|
These rules are related to sound, not grammar. Many verbs become adjectives when the -ed ending is attached, and the pronunciations shown above will still apply. Words like these are grounded, spirited, distinguished or handicapped.
Of course, you cannot remember which letter is which when you are speaking, so just try to us a T sound with a strong and clear consonant and a D sound with a softer consonant or a vowel. Use ED only when D or T is the last letter.
|750 Business Words||-ED Ending Main Page|
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