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