Welcome back to our free English learning blog! We hope you’ve enjoyed our lessons so far! This week we’re going to dive straight into how to pronounce ED and focus on our speaking skills. Whether you practice in the mirror or with your personal English teacher, pronunciation is key to becoming a fluent English speaker.
Speaking skills are normally the hardest because we feel a little embarrassed from time to time if we say something wrong. The only way to overcome this is to speak out loud and practice, practice, practice. For the most part, the world is a friendly and helpful place, so don’t worry about getting it wrong sometimes. You’ll be greeted with a smile and sometimes even a polite correction.
It’s a small mistake, but unfortunately, it makes it obvious that someone’s not a native English speaker.
When to Pronounce ED
ED is added to verbs when you’d like to change the tense to the past. There are some irregular verbs that don’t use it. Have a look at our irregular verbs on the Past Simple Lesson to find out which ones!
ED is used in both the Past Simple and Past Perfect tenses. For example, let’s use the verb to walk:
- I walked
- I have walked
The additional ED implies to the listener or reader that the action was done in the past.
How to Pronounce ED
Funnily enough, ED is rarely pronounced -ed. For the most part, you’ll have the main sounds, and they are ID, T, D, and EED. Believe it or not, there are actually simple rules you can follow to be able to differentiate between them.
If you come across a vowel ending verb, please use the last consonant shown to follow the rule. For example, “hate” & “hated” will follow the “verbs with T” rule.
Let’s go through each now!
“ID” Sounding Words
These words will give you an extra syllable and are quite easy to pronounce. The rule of thumb is that if you have a verb word that ends in “T” or “D”, you’ll pronounce its past particle as ID. Let’s go through some examples:
- “I start the car”, will go to “I started (start-id) the car”.
- “I hate my job”, will go to “I hated (hate-id) my job”.
- “You need the money”, will go to “You needed (need-id) the money”.
- “She weeds her garden”, will go to “She weeded (weed-ed) her garden”.
- They explode after a while”, will go to “They exploded (ex-plode-id) after a while”.
“T” Sounding Words
This sound will give you no extra syllable and you’ll simply need to join the two consonants together. You must try and ignore the E in between. Some pronunciations can be a little tricky! The verbs that use this sound are verbs that end in S, X, K, P, F, SH, and CH. Let’s go through a few examples:
- “I ask my friend a question” will go to, “I asked (askt) my friend a question”.
- “They launch the product in summer” will go to, “They launched (lawncht) the product in summer”.
- “You prep for the exam” will go to, “You prepped (prept) for the exam.
- “She misses the bus” will go to, “She missed (mist) the bus”.
- “I brush my teeth” will go to, “I brushed (brusht) my teeth.”
“EED” Sounding Words
When you are met with a Y verb word, we know that you drop the y and change it for ied. This is when you’ll pronounce the past participle as EED. This pronunciation can be the difference between meaning “worried” and “word” or the difference between “readied” and “redded”. This rule is for verbs with two original syllables (with no prefixes or suffixes). Here are some examples:
- “I carry the bags” will go to, “I carried (carr-eed) the bags”.
- “You hurry up” will go to, “You hurried (hurr-eed) up”.
- “She dirties the kitchen” will go to, “She dirtied (dirt-teed) the kitchen”
“D” Sounding Words
For all other verbs, we use the “D” sound. Like the “T” sound, it does not give us any more syllables and the consonants are simply said together. We really suggest that you practice between D and T as the difference between them is minimal, but unfortunately it still sounds wrong to the ear of a native English speaker if said incorrectly. Here are some popular verbs that use the D sound:
- Cleaned (cleend with 1 syllable)
- Played (playd)
- Used (ewsd)
- Allowed (al-lowd)
- Pulled (puld)
- Argued (ar-gewd)
- Compared (com-paird)
- Annoyed (an-noid)
- Analyzed (an-a-lizd)
- Opened (Oh-pend)
Study Tips for Pronunciation
Before we leave you, since this is our first pronunciation class, we wanted to give you some study tips on how to get your pronunciation right!
Listen: Listen to your teacher’s pronunciation, and listen to Podcasts, Videos, and Netflix. The more you listen, the more naturally you will be able to speak English.
Record Yourself: Recording yourself and listening back to your mistakes is a little cringy, but it’s a really great method to use. Try different phrases and monologues with your focus on topical words shown throughout. This is also a great method if you are practicing for a presentation!
Use a Dictionary: Printed dictionaries, dictionaries or thesauruses online, and Wikipedia all give you the phonetic pronunciation in brackets (like we did above). A particularly good one is howjsay – even the name of this website is a useful guide as to how to pronounce the common question ‘How do you say…?’ in a natural way. It’s a great resource for checking how new words sound.
Do Some Practice: Different languages have different common sounds throughout their language. There are sounds in the English language that most will not have come by before, such as the dreaded “TH” sound. Practicing just these sounds can really help your fluency in speaking.
Frequent Lessons: You can study and study English, and learn new words every day, but unless you are abroad in an English-speaking country, it’s very different to practice your speaking and conversational skills. Booking a lesson with an English teacher can seriously help speed up the learning process.
Thank you all for reading our blog and we hope that it was helpful! If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help! Did you know that we can help you with pronunciation tailored to your needs? If you have a presentation or interview coming up we will run focused classes for you to improve in this one area.