Two ways to pronounce “read”

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Today, I’m going to talk about pronouncing the word “read”. Did you know that there are two ways to pronounce this word? When it’s in the present and future tense, “read” is pronounced as “reed”. But when it’s in the past tense, it’s pronounced “red”, like the colour red.

Here are some examples.

Present: “Nurul likes to read articles relating to health and fitness.”
This is the present, so it’s pronounced as “reed”.

Future: “I am going to read this book tomorrow.”
This is the future, so it’s also pronounced as “reed”.

Past: “I read your essay yesterday and I loved it.”
This is referring to the past, so it’s pronounced as “red”.

Now don’t worry if this is confusing for you. Even if you always pronounce it as “reed”, people would still understand you. It’s not a big problem. This post is to help you understand how this word is pronounced based on whether it’s in past, present or future tense.

Our tip is to listen to native English speakers as much as you can to improve your pronunciation. As we always say, English is our second language so it’s absolutely normal to not have perfect pronunciation. What’s important is that you convey your message clearly and effectively.

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We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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