Pronunciation


“ed” Past Tense Endings

If the word has a “t” or “d” sound at the end you say “id”.

Examples:

started, dated, added, landed, acted, granted, boarded, bonded (Notice that some words like “date” don’t end in “t” but the ending sound is “t” and that is what determines how you say the “ed” sound.)

Otherwise the “e” is silent and you say “d”

Examples:

used, bored, laughed, parked, smiled, touched, walked, talked

There are exceptions to this rule when the word is an adjective or is used as an adjective. For example, if you say “he dogged my trail” (he followed me) you would say the “d” without the “e” sound (dogd). But if you say “he followed me with dogged determination (he followed me with much determination) you would say the “ed” ending (dog-gid). Also words like “naked”, “crooked” … etc. will always be used as adjectives and will always use the “ed” ending.

 

R

The “r” sound in English doesn’t occur in any other language, and the “r” sound after a vowel only occurs in North American English.  Because of that many people have trouble pronouncing the “r” sound correctly.  Listen to these examples.

railroad

girl

guard

weather

TH

The “th” sound is also a problem for many English students.  The sound is created by placing the end of the tongue between the upper and lower teeth.  For some words the “th” sound is “voiced” (the voice is used with it) and for others it is “”unvoiced” (only breath is used).

Voiced “th”

these

rhythm


Unvoiced “th”

thirsty

with


S

The “s” sound is also voiced and unvoiced.

Voiced “s”

those

places


Unvoiced “s”

start

course


B and V

Native Spanish speakers often used the same sound for both of these letters, but in English they sound very different.

B

boy

problem


V

victory

have

 

L

In many Asian languages there is no “L” sound, so saying words with an “L” can be a problem.  The sound is created by placing the end of the tongue on the roof of the mouth behind the teeth. 

love

color

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