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  • Hannah Krimm

The past, present, and future walked into a bar... it was tense.

Last week the Child Language and Literacy Lab put on the 6th Annual School SLP Conference at Vanderbilt. It was a huge success; with the help of many dedicated colleagues we provided professional development for about 300 SLPs from about 30 districts.


A question arose in my morphology talk that I thought I'd answer here:

Is there a way to know what sound regular past tense -ed makes?

Why YES! There IS!

-ed gets pronounced three ways: /t/, /d/, and /əd/. Pronunciation depends on the identity and voicing of the final phoneme in the base word. If the base word ends in /t/ or /d/, -ed will be pronounced /əd/ because it'd be awfully difficult to articulate those words without inserting the schwa vowel (/ə/):

  • wanted

  • needed

For all sounds besides /t/ and /d/, if the base word ends in a voiceless consonant, -ed will be pronounced /t/:

  • wished

  • kissed

  • buffed


If the base word ends in a voiced consonant or a vowel, -ed will be pronounced /d/:

  • fizzed

  • loved

  • toed

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© 2019 Hannah Krimm