Home / English Lessons / -ed ending: [t], [d] or [Id]? | A Quick Overview | English Pronunciation Lesson

-ed ending: [t], [d] or [Id]? | A Quick Overview | English Pronunciation Lesson

See the more detailed lesson on the pronunciation of the -ed ending here.

Listen to the audio: 

…or watch the video!

3 Pronunciations

The -ed ending of past tense verbs in English has 3 pronunciations:

  • [t]
  • [d]
  • [ɪd]

Why 3 different pronunciations?

Because the sound that comes before the -ed ending carries forward, naturally affecting the sound that comes after it.


So, the rule is, if the sound that comes before the -ed ending is:

  • voiceless (no vibration in the vocal chords), -ed ending –> voiceless [t]
  • voiced (vibration in the vocal chords), –ed ending –> voiced [d]
  • [t], [d], -ed ending –> [ɪd]

To test if a sound is vibrating in your vocal chords, just put your fingertips on the front of your throat and notice whether or not you feel the vibration when you say the sound.

It makes sense that the vibration or lack of vibration would carry forward, because it’s simply more efficient for your vocal chords to continue what they were doing before the -ed ending.

Got it?

Let’s practice.

Notice how I connect my speech between the -ed ending of the verb and the word that follows.

Listen and Repeat

  • “He talked to him yesterday.”
  • “Ouch! I banged my knee on the coffee table.”
  • “We visited Salzburg, but the town was so packed with tourists!”
  • “I parked close so that I wouldn’t have to walk so far.”
  • “I applied for that job earlier this year.”
  • “The teacher handed out the syllabus at the beginning of the semester.”

Remember, it’s important to pronounce the -ed ending, because in English, we connect our speech. The listener should hear the correct -ed ending ([t], [d], or [ɪd]) at the beginning of the following word.

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One comment

  1. Hi im born and raised in canada
    My parents are from india and i talk to much punjabi at home so now i have indian accent.

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