Verbs-Sounds of the ED Ending in American English

I will never forget a conversation I had with a young couple from Brazil 18 years ago. They had both passed the TOEFL test and the graduate exam GRE. They were waiting to start their first semester and had been in my city for about a month. Our first meeting, they told me-“Matt we don’t need grammar or vocabulary. Our English for studying is good. Our problem is that we don’t understand Americans when they are talking fast.

One part of that problem is the sounds the ED ending make for the past tense of verbs. The ED ending can make three different sounds, a T sound, what I call a lazy D sound, and an extra syllable ID sound. So here is a list I give to my students in my evening class. There is a video at the end that you can watch to help you practice.

Sounds of the ED ending

Verbs that end with ce, ch, f, gh, k, p, s, sh, and x make a T sound with the ED ending.

Placed                Sliced

Watched          Switched

Stuffed              Bluffed

Coughed           Laughed

Talked               Worked

Stopped            Clapped

Kissed              Guessed

Washed            Pushed

Fixed                 Boxed

Verbs that end with b, g, ge, l, m, n, r, ve, w, y, and z make a lazy d sound.

Rubbed          Grabbed

Hugged          Bagged

Judged           Enraged

Pulled            Enrolled

Hummed      Steamed

Burned         Listened

Cheered       Roared

Loved           Saved

Bowed          Sewed

Played          Enjoyed

Buzzed        Blazed

Only words that have a final sound of t or d have the extra ID sound for the ED ending.

Wanted       Greeted

Hated          Debated

Needed       Weeded

Decided      Coded

Different Uses of SEE


Looking at this picture what do we see? I see something that could make me feel dizzy. lol

Seriously speaking though, the verb see can have more meanings than to see with our eyes.

See is a non-action verb meaning for correct use we should not use see in a progressive/continuous verb tense. When see means to see with our eyes, it is non-action, so we should say- I see some birds in the tree not I am seeing some birds.

See differs in use than the words look and watch. See is an automatic response- my eyes are open so I see things. Look involves intentional use- She is looking at the painting. Look is also used in phrasal verbs but that is for another day. Watch is not only looking at something but involves other senses such as watching TV or watching a movie. Watch is can also mean to take care of such as watch the children.

But when see has other meanings, it is an action verb.

I am seeing a doctor. This meaning is I have an appointment with a doctor. I am seeing my family means I have a meeting with my family.

If someone says, I am seeing someone, it means they have a relationship with the person.

If someone says, oh I see, it means they understand.

If someone says, we see eye to eye, it means they agree. Don’t see eye to eye means do not agree.


The Mighty Little Word-Get


Several years ago a student of mine from Bosnia shared the advice her sister gave her about English. Her sister had come to America two years before she did. They had both studied English when Bosnia was part of what was once Yugoslavia. My student’s sister told her, “If you don’t know what verb to use, just say-GET- because Americans use GET more than any other verb.

GET can have different meanings and uses.

What did you get for your birthday? In this sentence GET means receive.

Uncle Matt what did you get me for my birthday? In this sentence GET means buy to give.

When I was a child and the doorbell would ring, I would yell, “I’ll get it” meaning I will do the action of answering the door.

A shorter person might ask a taller person-“Can you get that for me?” meaning can you reach up there and bring that down for me.

A wife might ask her husband to get some milk on your way home. In this sentence GET stop quickly to buy some milk to bring home not shopping for other things.

If someone says- Oh, I get it- then GET with it means I understand.

We also use GET many phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are a combination of a verb with a preposition that have its own special meaning and sometimes various meanings depending on tone of voice or context.

Get out can mean to leave or exit. It can also mean I don’t believe or amazing.

Get along means to have a good relationship with someone or how a person’s situation is.

Get here means to come here. I never wanted to hear my father say, “Matt get here right now.” when I was a child.

There are many other phrasal verbs using GET. If you have a question about GET please let me know.

Happy Learning my friends.