Pronouncing the Past Tense ED Ending: Sort the Sounds

Green grid with examples of pronunciation of -ed endings

Purpose:  To help learners correctly pronounce the final –ed at the end of past tense regular verbs.

Preparation Time:  15 mins

Materials Needed:  Class copies of Pronunciation of Past Tense Regular Verbs handout, a list of past tense regular verbs that the learners are familiar with (e.g. walk, stop, wash, clean, want, etc.

Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the final –ed pronunciation rules for past tense regular verbs. A great video and clear explanation can be found at http://www.grammar.cl/english/pronunciation-ed.htm (If this link does not work, copy and paste link into your internet browser)

Procedure:

  1. Explain to the learners that there are three different ways to pronounce the –ed ending at the end of regular past tense verbs.
  2. Write regular past tense three verbs on the board (one should end in a –d  or a –t [e.g. want, need], one should end in a vowel or a voiced consonant [e.g. cleaned, saved, enjoyed], and one should end in a voiceless consonant [e.g. laugh, finish, stop]).
  3. Say the three verbs out loud for the class. Have the learners focus on listening to the final sound of each verb. Ask them to tell you what sound they heard for each verb. You may have to say the verbs very slowly, enunciating the sound of the past tense ending several times.
  4. Explain that in English, there are three different pronunciations of the –ed ending for regular past tense verbs. The pronunciation of the –ed ending depends on the final sound in the verb. If the verb ends in a –d or a –t, the –ed ending is pronounced as a new syllable, /id/. If the verb ends in a vowel sound or a voiced consonant (l, n, r, b, g, m, z, s, v), then the –ed ending sounds like a /d/ and does not create a new syllable. If the verb ends in an unvoiced consonant (p, k, f, gh, sh, ch, ss, c, x), then the –ed ending sounds like a /t/ and does not create a new syllable.
  5. Write some regular verbs on the board, and have the learners determine if they end in a –d or a –t, a vowel sound, a voiced consonant, or a voiceless consonant. If learners are unsure if a consonant is voiced or voiceless, have the lay their fingers on the side of their neck and feel for the vibration that occurs when they say voiced consonants.
  6.  Give all of the learners a copy of the Pronunciation of Past Tense Regular Verbs handout. Write the list of past tense regular verbs on the board that was prepared before class. Have the learners copy to verbs into the box at the top of the handout.
  7. In pairs or small groups, have the learners write each of the verbs in the corresponding box on the bottom of the handout.
  8. Go over the answers as a class. Make sure that you have the learners read the words out loud after everyone has corrected their handouts.

Extension:                             

In pairs or small groups, have the learners generate past tense sentences using the verbs from the handout. Their partner/s will listen to their pronunciation of the past tense verbs, and tell them if they said the final –ed sound correctly.

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