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Past Tense Regular Verb Pronunciation of -ed

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The regular past tense in English is formed by adding "ed" to the verb. This past tense regular verb ending has three distinct sounds:

  • /t/ as in stopped, walked, relaxed
  • /d/ as in arrived, lived, used
  • /id/ as in wanted, needed, hated

Many textbooks contain some kind of activity in which students are given a list of verbs, and they identify which of these sounds is the final sound of the regular past tense. Captur is an ideal way for teachers to find out how well their students understand these sounds.

On the board, make a chart like this:

A stopped /t/

B lived /d/

C wanted /id/

It's a good idea to include one or two examples on the board with each sound

The textbook usually contains a number of regular past tense verbs, and a way for students to indicate how the final "-ed" is pronounced. (If your textbook doesn't have this, you could always provide a dozen or so verbs of your own on a handout or on the board; a comprehensive list of these verbs appears at the bottom of this article.)

I let the students work in pairs to write their answers. Usually, I can hear them saying the words to each other. If there's a disagreement, I suggest, "Why not check the dictionary?" When they're done, I elicit the answers from students using Captur paddles. After I get their answer, I model the pronunciation, and ask them all to repeat it. (Choral repetition isn't the trendiest of classroom techniques, but there's a time and place for everything.)

An example:

Teacher: OK, the next one is the past tense of "carry". Past tense of "carry". Show me your answers.

Students: (should all show B for /d/)

Teacher: Yes. "carried". Repeat after me, "carried."

Students: Carried.

You can include an example right now if you'd like to, but I usually leave that for later, when I'm focusing on more communicative tasks and meaning-based activities. This is simply a short segment of the class. You'll be able to see from the students' answer paddles how many of them know the answers. You'll be able to find the students' weak spots as well as their strong spots, so you'll know what you need to focus on in the future.

A Listening Option

Here are two options for adding a listening component to this sequence.

  1. Ask students to show you the A, B or C for the sound of the verb.
  2. Give feedback ("Almost everyone is correct!", "About half of you are correct", etc.).
  3. Model the pronunciation.
  4. Ask students to show you the A, B or C again.
  5. Tell them the answer. Model the answer, and elicit a repetition.

Another way of doing this is to skip the first two steps above, and simply start with your own modeled pronunciation.

List of Regular Past Tense Pronunciation

/t/ /d/ /id/

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

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
interviewed
imagined
jailed
killed
listened
lived
loved
measured
moved
opened
planned
played
performed
pulled
realized
remembered
rained
repaired
saved
shared
shaved
showed
signed
slammed
stayed
snowed
studied
tried
traveled
turned
used
welcomed
whispered
worried
yawned

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

Source of verb list: about.com
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