How to pronounce the past tense in English

Pronounce the past tense (-ed) like a native speaker!

Even high-level students can make mistakes with the pronunciation of the past tense in English. 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! Read on to see how.
Kerin English Teacher
Post by Kerin

Hello, this is Kerin from English Digital Academy and 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 course 6, month 6 in our advanced programme Proficiency Project, 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!

Past Tense Regular Verb Pronunciation:
How to pronounce the -ED like a native speaker!

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Common past tense regular verbs wordlist

past tense pronunciation

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
Past-Tense Regular Verb Pronunciation

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
Past-Tense Regular Verb Pronunciation

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 English Teacher
Kerin English Teacher
Your English teacher

Want to learn how to tell stories & anecdotes in English fluently and confidently?

Are you an upper intermediate or advanced English learner looking for a new way to practise English?


I’d like to introduce to my new advanced English programme Road to English Proficiency! 

In the programme you get a brand new module each month where you’re going to cover a variety of different topics using authentic nativelevel English resources in order to boost your ability to understand native English speakers, all the while learning different techniques to improve your vocabulary.


For example month 6 is all about How to tell stories in English: Narrative tenses Click below to read the course outline.


About this module


The use of narrative to tell stories and anecdotes forms an important part of our everyday communication and life. During this course you will have the opportunity to listen to and analyse a story told by Motown legend Smoky Robinson.  

Then we work on developing both your accuracy and fluency in order to tell your own stories. You will have the chance to develop your understanding of a range of narrative tenses by focusing on both the meaning and the form of the structures.

I’ll also introduce you to an effective self-study method for learning new grammar points and you will create a mini-presentation.

What you will learn


  • develop fluency in storytelling
  • develop understanding and accurate use of a range of narrative tenses
  • understand and try out the learn-by-teaching method
  • make a mini-presentation on a grammar point
  • read mini-sagas and create your own
  • learn useful language for storytelling
  • practise pronunciation of past tenses
  • practise telling anecdotes and stories

What is the activation project?


It’s a big project this month! You will have the chance to write your own anecdote and also tell a story. Furthermore, for those of you feeling creative this month you are invited to write your own mini-saga.

Bonus Materials

  • Pronunciation boost: how to pronounce the ED in past tenses
  • Bonus lesson: Tips and language for telling anecdotes

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