HELPFUL TIPS AND RESOURCES FOR ADULT ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

 

Pronunciation Practice

Pronouncing Past Tense -ed Verbs

Pronouncing the -ed at the end of past tense verbs can be quite confusing for non-native English speakers, as there are actually three different possibilities.  By using these three rules, it becomes more understandable.

Rule 1: 

If the verb base ends in a voiceless sound, then the -ed ending sounds like a "t".  The "t" sound is blended together with the previous consonant and not pronounced as an extra syllable.

A voiceless sound is like a whisper; your vocal cords don't vibrate.  Voiceless consonant sounds are:  p, f, k, s, sh, ch, th

Examples of past tense verbs where the -ed ending sounds like "t":

worked, dropped, finished, divorced, stopped, laughed, coughed, watched

Rule 2: 

If the verb base ends in a voiced sound, then the -ed ending sounds like "d".  The "d" is blended together with the previous consonant and not produced as an extra syllable.

A voiced sound means that your vocal cords vibrate.  Voiced consonant sounds: b, v, g, z, j, th, l, m, n, r, all vowel sounds

Examples of past tense verbs where the -ed ending sounds like "d":

moved, returned, stayed, studied, married, widowed, raised, engaged, travelled  

Rule 3: 

If the verb base ends in a "t" or a "d" sound already, then the -ed ending sounds like "id" or "ud".  It is pronounced as an extra syllable.

Examples of past tense verbs where the -ed ending sounds like "ed":

started, graduated, visited, separated, dated, attended

If you would like a digital copy of this information, please click here: 

Explanation Videos

Videos Explaining Pronunciation and Other Challenges for English Language Learners 

Some pronunciation issues can only be explained orally.  Here are some videos you may find helpful. 

Speaking Practice

Practicing speaking on your own can be challenging.  There are many interactive language acquisition websites, apps, and softwares out there. Personally, I like Duolingo.com.  It won't help you with complex grammar, but it does help you work on your accent, your speed, and basic vocabulary - plus, it's free!

THIS PORTION IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.