The pronunciation of regular verbs in the past or in the past participle that end in ED can be tricky and difficult to do. English pronunciation seems like it has few rules and there are of course many irregularities, but there are many ways of knowing how to pronounce words that you have never heard before.
The best way of knowing how to pronounce words that end in ED is to focus on the last letter of the stem of the word. For example, Work = the final sound is K or decide = the final sound is D. All you need to do is use this list as a reference to know how to pronounce the ED ending.
You need to remember that pronunciation is a physical process and you must practice with repetition, as cited HERE. The best way to practice is to start with the sound /K-T/, then repeat a word like “Worked” and then a sentence, for example. My Granddad worked in a bank.
When we pronounce the …ed endings, there are 3 sounds /id/ /t/ /d/:
/id/ is when the verb ends in D or T
/t/ is when the verb ends in CH, F, GH, K, P, S, SH, X
/d/ is when the verb ends in AY, B, G, L, M, N, OW, R, V, Z
We never pronounce it /ed/. Be careful!
DOWNLOAD THE PRONUNCIATION SHEET IN PDF HERE
Tips to improve
- You should listen and read at the same time. Use the TV with subtitles, audio books or even study books with the dialogue in paper form. This way you will get used to hearing how words are pronounced as well a written.
- Read out load and get others to listen and correct you.
- Use frequency phrases. A great way is to practice and review target vocabulary. You should apply vocabulary that you have difficulty with to contexts that you understand and can remember.
- Record your own voice
You should record your voice producing these sounds. It is essential to listen a lot to the way you produce sounds and to try to produce the sounds better. You should focus first on the sound, next on words and then full sentences.
For example: SH = SHIP = THE SHIP SET SAIL LAST WEEK FROM PORTSMOUTH.
- Listen and imitate
You cannot separate listening and speaking, it is one and the same, but the first is passive and the latter is active. The more you listen the better you will be at recognising sounds, however, it is essential to put all of this into practice and actually make the sounds with your mouth.
It is recommendable to choose an accent (that of your tutor for example) and try to imitate their accent and way of speaking. You cannot imitate all accents at one. It is like trying to sound Andaluz and Basque at the same time.
Drilling is about taking a sound and repeating it so many times that it becomes second nature (you can do it without thinking). It needs to be done with the tricky sounds that Spanish people find hard to produce.
- Repeat and repeat again.
Your pronunciation will not improve in a week, you need to practice a lot and repeat sounds frequently. It is a long process and can take several weeks to produce sounds in the way that you want to, you must be patient.
- Use rhythm and rhyme
We strongly recommend using rhymes such as tongue twisters to improve your pronunciation. They are easier to remember and work more effectively than individual words. Music is great too!
Associate sounds with similar sounds in your own language or with strange contexts that you can relate to and imitate.
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