How to Really Pronounce Regular Verbs in the Past

Aren’t regular verbs really simple use? All you have to do is add an “ed” to the end and that’s it, conjugated.

It all sounds so easy but you have probably realized that it’s really hard to hear native speakers saying the “ed” when they are talking. Don’t worry, that happens to everyone.

In this video lesson I’m going to teach you all how to really pronunce the “ed” suffix and how it changes depending on the verb it’s used with

(See transcript below)


What’s up, RealLife English?

Welcome to another episode of RealLife TV. I’m Chad and today I’m going to teach you all about how to really pronounce regular verbs in the past.

Is this RealLife?

Ok, so, many English learners form all around the world often make a very big mistake  when pronouncing regular verbs in the past.

Have you ever said “I traveled around the world?” Maybe you said “I watched a movie last night?” Well, unfortunately, you are wrong if you said this because in English we don’t always add an extra syllable to the verb when we conjugate it.

When to add an extra syllable

So, the only time you are going to add an extra syllable to a verb when you conjugate it is when the verb ends in a “d” or a “t” sound. For example, the verb “to want.” “I wanted.” So, the “ed” is going to take on the “t,” the last consonant as well. “I wanted to go traveling.” “I wanted to go.” In American English they tend to cut the “t” sound, so they’d say “I wanted,” “I wanted to go.”

Ok, so that’s when the verb ends in a “t” sound or a “d” sound. For example, the verb “to decide.” Technically, the verb “decide” ends with an “e,” but the last sound of the verb is a “d” sound. “I decided,” “I decided to go traveling.”

Ok, so, remember – you only add an extra syllable when the verbs end with a “t” or a “d” sound.

Regular verbs ending in “ch,” “sh,” “k,” “s,” “p,” and “f”

Ok, this is a really difficult one. When a regular verb ends in a “ch” sound, an “sh” sound, a “k,” an “s,” a “p” or an “f” the “ed” actually takes on a “t” sound. It’s a very subtle “t” sound.

For example, if I was to say “I watch-ed a movie” I would actually say “I watched,” “tched,” “tched.” That’s the actual “ed” sound in the verb “to watch.” “I watched a movie last night.”

Like I said, it’s also with an “sh” sound. So, if I wash my clothes, I would say “I washed my clothes yesterday,” “I washed my clothes.”

Ok? Same thing, the “k” sound. The verb “to like:” “I really liked,” “kt,” “I liked the movie.” So, you’re not even going to hear the “ed” sound, it’s a very quick “t” sound.

So, you’re going to have to try to practice this a few times, and especially with the “sh” and the “ch.” “I washed,” “I watched.”

Ok, just to give you an example of the “s,” the “p,” and the “f” sounds, for example, the verb “to pass.” “I passed the test,” “passed.” Again, the “t” sound. (get tips about passing the TOEFL test)

“P.” “Stopped,” “he stopped at the traffic light.” “Stopped,” “ped,” “ped.”

And, lastly, the “f” sound. For example, the verb “to laugh.” Obviously, “laugh” ends with a “gh,” but, like I said, the sound is an “f” sound, “laugh.” “I laughed a lot when I saw the comedian.” “I laughed,” “ghed.”

And all the rest of the regular verbs when you conjugate them, if they don’t end in any of these sounds that I’ve just explained, they’re just going to take on a very regular, simple, “d” sound.

For example, “play.” “I played the guitar yesterday.”

So, it’s just that “-ed,” “-ed” sound. “I played the guitar.”

“T” sounded followed by a vowel

Another very important thing that can help you guys a lot with pronunciation, when pronouncing these verbs that end in a “t” sound, like “I washed,” “I watched,” if those verbs are followed by another word that starts with a vowel, the “t” actually becomes a “d” sound.

If I’m talking about a movie, I can say “he watched it.” “He watched it” would say “he watched it.” So, this is very common in American English. (See Justin’s video about this)

Another example: a verb that ends in “s,” for example, “pass.” “He passed on the information,” in American English we’d actually say “he passed on the information.” “He passed on the information.” The “t” becomes a “d.”

And, the last example is, let’s say, the verb “laugh.” “He laughed at the joke.” An American would pronounce this “he laughed at the joke.”

So, when we finish with a “t” and it’s the “t” sound, and it starts again the next word with a vowel, “laughed at” becomes “laughed at.”


Ok guys, that concludes today’s episode of RealLife TV. I hope you guys enjoyed it!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel where you’ll get all of our newest videos and, if you click below, go to our website, where you’ll get the whole, full transcript for everything I’m saying. Plus, we have a lot of other articles, podcast, videos and everything else that’s happening at RealLife English.

So, I hope to see you guys next time, keep it real.

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  • Estela Lopez says:

    It was really clear and very helpful. Keep sharing so good videos… Thanks a lot!

  • Very good teacher!


  • Nadia-Nero says:


  • David Logue says:

    Your English is good better than some who live here in England !!!

  • David Logue says:

    As above !!!

  • who are u talking about?

  • Really great to improve our past, isn't it? 😉 Thank you!

  • Adnane Alife says:

    hello I omar any one want to speak english with me

  • Hi Chad. Thank you for the video.
    I watched several videos about this subject. Regarding the verbs that end with d or t, I concluded that : In American English ED = ID > êd "e" closed as in Portuguese. In British English ED =id. Am I correct?