The -ed ending
The -ed ending is used to form the simple past and past participle of words in English. There are three possible pronunciations for the -ed ending:
- short i+d sound
- t sound
- d sound
Which pronunciation to use depends on the final sound before the -ed.
1: -ed ending pronounced as short i+d sound
When the final sound of the word is a d sound or a t sound (including all of the t sound allophones), the -ed ending is pronounced as short i+d sound. This forces a syllable to be added to the word.
2: -ed ending pronounced as t sound
When the final sound of the word is an unvoiced sound (except the t sound itself), the -ed ending is pronounced as a t sound. An unvoiced sound does not use the vocal cords during its production. Besides the t sound, English has only seven other unvoiced sounds that occur at the end of a word:
The h sound is the only unvoiced sound that does not occur at the end of a word in English.
*The unvoiced th sound is rather uncommon before the -ed ending.
3: -ed ending pronounced as d sound
When the final sound of the word is a voiced sound (except the d sound itself), the -ed ending is pronounced as a d sound. A voiced sound uses the vocal cords during its production. Since all vowel sounds are voiced, there are far more voiced sounds in English than unvoiced sounds. Besides the d sound, English has 16 other voiced sounds that occur at the end of a word:
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