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Speaking - Phonetics - Pronunciation of the -ed ending 01

This is what I have been explaining in class... Printer-friendly version worddoc (2 pages)

Quick Guide: NEVER pronounce /ed/!!! Pronounce a /t/ instead!
Whenever you see a word ending in –ed, visualize the “e” as crossed out, if you want to increase your chances of pronouncing it correctly! (Practice this visualization technique as you read aloud stories, news, poems...)

Crossed out!

Before telling you when to pronounce a /t/ or when to pronounce a /d/, let us see what happens to a small but commonly used group of words - the words whose infinitive form ends in a dental sound (t or d).

A little exception: when to pronounce /Id/ (NEVER /ed/ anyway!)
If the last SOUND in the infinitive of the verb is a dental - a /d/ or a /t/ - you need a vowel support that separates the first dental from the second, so that it is clear you are expressing a past.

ttttttt?!startd ??? No way!
That sounds like a present! (Assimilation) What can we do, then?

 Vowel Support!!! startid
Insert a vowel: an English short "i", NEVER a Spanish "e"


Hey, you!

Now we need to integrate those isolated words in connected speech! So...

bullet Transcript worddoc (2 pages) of the TP Podcast episode on the pronunciation of the -ed ending: these sentences
Listen! Listen External Link to those sentences at the TP Podcast

bullet You could do some Reading Aloud practice
Read aloud Leonora Carrington's "The Debutante" and listen to its audio to check.

Here you will be able to listen to the pronunciation of all the vowel and consonant sounds External Link in English (BBC)

An exercise on the -ed ending


When to say /t/ or /d/
When to pronounce the "-ed" as a /t/ and when to pronounce it as a /d/?

bullet If the last SOUND in the infinitive form (the form without the -ed ending) is a vowel or a voiced consonant, the -ed should be pronounced /d/.

bullet If the last SOUND in the infinitive form (the form without the -ed ending) is a voiceless consonant, the -ed should be pronounced /t/.

IF YOU HAVE NO TIME TO WORK THAT OUT, PLEASE PRONOUNCE A /t/, a strong dental sound, so that it is clear to the listener that you are not using a present or infinitive form! This was my first tip when you started reading these notes, wasn't it?

To find out which are the voiced and the voiceless consonants, you need to do the following exercise:

bullet Say "Ahhhhhh"
bullet Feel your throat with your fingers until you find the exact place where the vibration you can notice comes from. That place is where your vocal chords are.
bullet Say different vowels. All vowels, both in Spanish and English, are VOICED, which means, our vocal chords vibrate when they are pronounced.
bullet Is your hand in the correct place? OK then, now, to the consonants.
bullet Being careful of not saying any kind of vowel sound, say /k/
bullet Your vocal chords don't vibrate, so /k/ is a voiceless sound.
bullet Say /v/. Your vocal chords vibrate, so /v/ is a voiced sound.
bullet Pronounce this (both): ask - asked. Did you say "asked" or "askt"? The first is IMPOSSIBLE in English because we never pronounce a Spanish "e", we cross out the vowel, so to say. And because /k/ is voiceless, the dental sound in the -ed ending is pronounced as a /t/ (voiceless dental).
bullet Pronounce this (both): receive - received. Did you say "risiived" or "risiivd"? The first is IMPOSSIBLE. Because /v/ is voiced, the dental sound in the -ed ending is pronounced as a /d/ (voiced dental).

Anyway, you want a list! I know. Please, practice feeling your chords as you pronounce each and every one of them. If you have any trouble with the pronunciation of any, tell me in class!

Voiced sounds (-ed as d)
All the vowels!, like...
play - played /pleid/ NEVER "plalled"!!!
stay - stayed /steid/ NEVER "stelled"!!!
bow – bowed /baud/ NEVER "bogüed"!!!
argue - argued /aargiud/ NEVER "argued"!!!
continue - continued /kontiniud/ NEVER "kontinued"!!!

And verbs/adjectives ending in voiced consonants
change - changed
log - logged
fill - filled
jam - jammed
pin - pinned
receive - received
buzz - buzzed (this is no “zeta” sound, but a voiced “s”)
the! is voiced, but its usually at the beginning of words: the, these, this, that...

Voiceless sounds (-ed as t)

watch - watched
laugh - laughed
ask - asked
stop - stopped
pass - passed
wash - washed
ce is voiceless, but I can't think of verbs/adjs ending in this sound! (through, thin...)