Read Reid

Steven Reid, LVCA Program Manager, answers tutor questions in a regular advice column. Tutors can submit questions to Steven at any time and he'll answer them here for the benefit of all. 


Dear Steven,

I’m having a hard time explaining to my student the sounds –ed makes. It’s a little confusing, even for me. Are there rules that can make it easier to explain?
     -Problems with Pronunciation

Dear Problems with Pronunciation,

The –ed sound can be a bit tricky for English learners but there are a few rules to make it a little easier:

If the final consonant sound (sound – it doesn’t matter what the letter is) is /k/, /p/, /f/, /s/, /sh/, or /ch/, -ed will make a /t/ sound.
     Examples: laughed, locked, wished

If the final consonant sound is /t/ or /d/, it will make a new syllable.
     Examples: wanted, exited, handed

If the final consonant sound is anything else, it will make a /d/ sound.
     Examples: called, phased, glued

Here’s the nice thing: if you remember the /t/ and /d/ rule, the others basically take care of themselves because making a /d/ sound after a /k/ etc sound is VERY difficult. 
(You just tried it, didn’t you?)