The 3 Sounds of “ed”!

Past tense verbs can be very confusing. They don’t all end with ed and the ones that do end with ed do not all sound the same. There are 3 different ways that we pronounce “ed” for a past-tense verb. Here’s a brief explanation of how we say past tense verbs that end in ed.

Ed can sound like “ed” 

Let’s start this lesson with the easiest way to say a past-tense verb. When ed sounds like “ed” (like a man’s name of Ed, which is a nickname for Edward). Here are examples:

added “add – ed” (two syllables) clap your hands 2 times
I added one plus one equals two. 1 + 1 = 2                 

erupted “e-rupt-ed” (three syllables) clap your hands 3 times The volcano erupted over Pompeii.

painted “pain-ted” (two syllables) clap your hands 2 times. He painted the house blue. 

Ed can sound like “t”

These words have one syllable, one hand clap.  

Wash – one syllable     
Washed – one syllable but this one has the “t” sound at the end. 

Kick – one syllable         
Kicked – one syllable but this one has the “t” sound at the end. 

Laugh – one syllable   
Laughed – one syllable but this one has the “t” sound at the end. 

Ed can sound like “d” – not “ed”

These words have one syllable, one hand clap.

Smile – one syllable   
Smiled – one syllable – it has a long i sound and the words sounds like “smild”

Mail – one syllable   
Mailed – one syllable – this has a long a sound and the word sounds like “mald”

Smelled – one syllable 
Smelled – one syllable – this one has a short e sound and the word sounds like “smeld”

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