Ana Sanchez

Profesora de inglés

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-ED pronunciation: a real nightmare

- ED endings can be everywhere: past simple, participles, adjectives... and many students find them too difficult to be pronounced. They are right, but with some easy and helpful tips, you will never make a mistake when pronouncing them.

The following explanation you are about to read may be a crazy idea for many, overmore teachers, but some years ago I realized students cannot learn phonetics when their level is low, they have enough with all the grammar :). Even higher levels are neither interested in learning the sounds, but they all want to know how to pronounce words correctly. So I created a very easy way to learn, know and remember to pronounce this ending.

I am very proud to tell you that not only all my students perfectly understand how it works but they kill the pronunciation as well.              

For Spanish speakers it is almost impossible to pronounce two consonants sounds as "k" and "t" together when they are at the end of a word. What I always say to my students when facing these problems is to pronounce slowly both sounds and with a bit of practice, they will get it.

Let's start from the very beginning:

     There are 3 different sounds for an -ED ending, you know them for sure: /t/, /d/, /id/ 
         Remember something: in English almost everything is related to sounds and not to the spelling.
 
When to pronounce each of those sounds?

What if I tell you to take only into account the /id/ sound?

It is crazy, I know, but it is the easiest to remember. You'll see in a moment. Keep reading.

Have a look at the following words:
 
                 decide -> /disaid/
                 hate -> /heit/
                 interest -> /intrest/
                 remind -> /rimaind/
 
All of them have something in common, their last sound is a /t/ or a /d/, for that reason, when adding the -ed at the end of the word, it is going to be pronounced as /id/

                 decided -> /disaidid/
                 hated -> /heitid/
                 interested -> /intrestid/
                 remind -> /rimaindid/

Now, what happens to these other words? 

                 listen -> /lisn/
                 watch -> /wɒtʃ/
                 ask -> /ɑːsk/
                 follow -> /fɒləʊ/

Are their last sounds a /d/ or /t/? NO, THEY AREN'T. So they can never be pronounced with an /id/ sound when adding -ed
                 
                 listened -> /lisnid/ -> NO, its last sound is /n/, so the pronunciation is different: /lisnd/
                 watched -> /wɒtʃid/ -> NO, its last sound is /ʃ/, so the pronunciation is different: /wɒtʃt/
                 ask -> /ɑːskid/ -> NO, its last sound is /k/, so the pronunciation is different: /ɑːskt/
                 follow -> /fɒləʊid/ -> NO, its last sound is /ʊ/, so the pronunciation is different: /fɒləʊd/

I hope it's much clearer now how to pronounce these endings. If you want to learn some more, click here 
You can also read this post in Spanish here.
 
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