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How to pronounce 'ed' at the end of a verb

Perfect English Grammar

It's difficult to know how to pronounce 'ed' in English, because it's pronounced in three different ways. It depends on the letter before:

The three ways are:

  • 1: 'id' (like in painted 'paint-id')
  • 2: 'd' (like in 'played')
  • 3: 't' (like in 'hoped')

The most important thing to remember is this:

If the verb has a 'd' or a 't' sound before 'ed' you need to pronounce 'id'. If it doesn't, don't pronounce an extra syllable.

Be careful! It's the sound, not the letter: 'decided' is pronounced 'decide-id' even though 'decide' ends in 'e', because we don't say the 'e', so the last sound is 'd'.

So for example:

  • wanted (want-id)
  • ended (end-id)
  • decided (decide-id)
  • admitted (admit-id)
  • suggested (suggest-id)
  • recommended (recommend-id)
  • hated (hate-id)
  • intended (intend-id)
  • started (start-id)
For the other two sounds it doesn't matter so much. Just make sure you don't say '-id'! For example, 'stopped' is pronounced 'stopt' and never 'stop-id'.

If the word before 'ed' ends in the sounds 'p', 'f', 's', 'ch', 'sh', 'k', then 'ed' is pronounced 't': So:

  • 'p' stopped
  • 'f' laughed
  • 's' promised
  • 'ch' watched
  • 'sh' finished
  • 'k' walked

For all other words, 'ed' is pronounced 'd':

  • allowed
  • cried
  • enjoyed
  • cleaned
  • imagined