Pronounce the past tense

How to pronounce the past tense like a native speaker!

Lesson by Kerin.

Post updated Mar 2022

Today I’m doing a quick win lesson to help you with the pronunciation of regular past tenses.

You may be thinking, well this is quite basic, why is she doing a lesson on this?! And it’s true, the construction of the past tense, is straightforward and is generally done by adding -d or -ed to the verb.  Ok!

The tricky part is getting the pronunciation right, and it’s something that even high-level students can make mistakes with. Getting it right is a quick way to sounding more fluent and more like a native speaker. In other words, it’s a really good way to sound more natural. 

And since I’ve just been writing a new course, How to tell interesting and engaging stories in English (which is all about how to tell stories and how to use the past narrative tenses),  I thought this could be a useful extra to add to the course, and it would be nice to share with all the people who follow our blog. So, I do hope you find it useful and helpful. 

Without further ado, let’s get to it!


How to pronounce the past tense “the -ED” like a native speaker!

Common past tense regular verbs wordlist

How to pronounce the past tense

pronounce the past tense

Voiceless Last Sound of the Infinitive (say ‘ed’ as ‘t’)

  • asked
  • baked
  • brushed
  • cooked
  • cracked
  • crashed
  • danced 
  • dressed
  • dropped
  • escaped
  • finished
  • fixed
  • guessed
  • helped
  • hiked
  • hoped
  • joked
  • jumped
  • kissed
  • knocked
  • laughed 
  • locked
  • looked
  • missed
  • mixed
  • packed
  • passed
  • picked
  • pressed
  • pronounced
  • pushed
  • relaxed
  • shopped
  • slipped
  • smoked
  • stopped
  • talked
  • typed
  • walked
  • washed
  • watched
  • worked
pronounce the past tense

Voiced Last Sound of the Infinitive (say ‘ed’ as ‘d’)

  • advised 
  • agreed
  • allowed
  • answered
  • appeared
  • arrived
  • believed
  • belonged
  • burned
  • called
  • carried
  • changed
  • cleaned
  • closed
  • covered
  • cried
  • damaged
  • described
  • died
  • dried
  • earned
  • encouraged
  • enjoyed
  • entered
  • explained
  • explored
  • filled
  • followed
  • happened
  • imagined
  • interviewed
  • jailed
  • killed
  • listened
  • lived
  • loved
  • measured
  • moved
  • opened
  • planned
  • played
  • performed
  • pulled
  • rained
  • realised
  • remembered
  • repaired
  • saved
  • shared
  • shaved
  • showed
  • signed
  • slammed
  • stayed
  • snowed
  • studied
  • travelled
  • tried
  • turned
  • used
  • welcomed
  • whispered
  • worried
  • yawned
pronounce the past tense

T or D as the Last Sound of the Infinitive (say ‘ed’ as ‘id’)

  • accepted
  • afforded
  • arrested
  • attended
  • collected
  • contacted
  • counted
  • decided
  • defended
  • demanded
  • divided
  • ended
  • expanded
  • expected
  • exported
  • flooded
  • graduated
  • hated
  • hunted
  • included
  • invented
  • invited
  • landed
  • needed
  • painted
  • planted
  • presented
  • pretended
  • printed
  • protected
  • provided
  • rented
  • repeated
  • reported
  • respected
  • rested
  • scolded
  • shouted
  • skated
  • started
  • treated
  • visited
  • waited
  • wanted
  • wasted

Kerin Goodall Founder English Digital Academy

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How to tell interesting and engaging stories in English

How to tell interesting and engaging stories in English

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