Pronunciation Practice: Words Ending in “ed”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Most of the English consonant sounds come in pairs with the difference being that one sound is voiced, and the other is voiceless

For example, the only difference between /p/ and /b/ is that /p/ is pronounced with no vibration in the throat, whilst /b/ is pronounced with vibration in the throat

This makes /p/ a voiceless sound and /b/ a voiced sound.

Study the table below of the 24 English consonant sounds. You do not need to memorise the IPA transcriptions in the table.

How does knowing whether a sound is voiced or unvoiced affect your knowledge of the “ed” ending of words like “invited”, “called” and “walked”?

Three ways to pronounce the “ed” ending:

1. If the root word ends in /d/ or /t/, you should pronounce the /ed/ ending with /ɪd/.

Practise with the following words:

Invited

Decided

Attracted 

2. If the root word ends in a voiced sound, you should pronounce the ending with the voiced /d/ sound.

Practise with the following words:

Moved

Called

Hired

3. If the root word ends in a voiceless sound, you should pronounce the ending with a voiceless /t/ sound.

Practise with the following words:

Slipped

Attached

Washed

Connected Speech

Now, something interesting happens when you speak quite fast. Here are the rules:

1. When the /d/ or /t/ sound is followed by a vowel sound, the /d/ or /t/ sound is carried over to the next word.

I lived in various places.

I worked at various companies.

2. When the /d/ sound is followed by a /j/ sound,  the /dʒ/ sound is produced.

I called you yesterday.

3. When the /t/ sound is followed by a /j/ sound, the /tʃ/ sound is produced.

 I asked you a question.

4. The /t/ sound can be dropped when it is linked with another /t/ sound.

I watched too much TV.

If you choose not to drop the /t/ sound, you can say the it lightly or softly. It is up to you whether to drop the /t/ sound or not.

5. The /d/ sound can be dropped when it is linked with another /t/ sound.

I used to work at a restaurant.

If you choose not to drop the /d/ sound, you can say it lightly or softly. It is up to you whether to drop the /d/ sound or not.

If you would like to practise with more words, the episode of our podcast below walks through many more examples, so be sure to follow along with me!

You can also listen to this episode on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Just so you know, this episode was quite a challenge to record!

First, I had to make sure that every word in the slides was accompanied by the correct IPA transcriptions, which meant checking each word against the transcriptions in the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary. This would not have been possible without Aisya’s help, of course!

Then came the recording. As per routine, I would record the episode (live or otherwise) without a script (as I dislike writing scripts!), but because this was about pronunciation, I was extra nervous. 

When I heard myself making mistakes as I uttered some words,  I had to correct myself on the spot (immediately) whilst wishing I had all the time in the world to rerecord this episode for you until it was 100% perfect!

The reason I’m sharing my behind-the-scenes frustrations is so that if you ever find yourself making mistakes while speaking or getting angry with yourself for not being perfect, you can give yourself a break.

Accept that making mistakes is part of learning. Learn to correct yourself immediately and never give up. You do not have to “start all over again” to be perfect, but just learn to navigate through your mistakes. It will be okay in the end.

With that, see you in the next lesson!

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

Sign up to join our free video training, Speaking with Confidence. We’ll send you seven tips to your email address!

Here’s Tip 1 for a sneak peek of what’s in store for you.

Hi there!

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

You may have seen us on: