Pronunciation of Word Endings

Now, we're going to focus on how we can pronounce the word endings. You wanna improve your English language proficiency?

Pronunciation of Word Endings

We all know that 's' in 'sugar' sounds different to 's' in 'sun.' This inconsistency also exists in word endings, but with the help of patterns, we can set rules to pronounce them correctly.

What Are Word Endings?

Word endings are a set of letters coming at the end of a word but they can have different sounds, depending on the voiced or voiceless letter preceding them.
So, before following this lesson, please check voiced/voiceless lesson.

Types

There are two types of word endings:

1. The past simple form of regular verbs, ending in "ed." In almost all cases, the E is silent.
2. The ending 's' or 'es' in plural nouns

1. The Past Simple Form of Regular Verbs

In 'picked' the 'ed' makes the /t/ sound. In 'loved,' the 'ed' makes the /d/ sound. The rule is that if the 'ed' comes after a voiceless consonant (f, k, p, s), then the final 'ed' says /t/. If 'ed' comes after a voiced consonant or vowel, it sounds /d/.

Rules

  • If the "ed" is preceded by a voiced consonant sound such as B or V, it should be pronounced as a voiced /d/. Examples:

robbed /rɒbd/

thrived /θraɪvd/

shoved /ʃʌvd/

  • If the ed is preceded by a voiceless consonant such as K, it should be pronounced as a voiceless /T/. Examples:

barked /bɑːrkt/

marked /mɑːrkt/

  • If the 'ed' is preceded by a vowel sound, it should be pronounced /d/. Examples:

freed /friːd/

fried /fraɪd/

lied /laɪs/

Warning

  • If the 'ed' is preceded by T or D, it should be pronounced a voiced /id/ sound. In this case, the "e" is pronounced. Examples:

dotted /dɒtid/

needed /niːdid/

rotted /rɒtid/

2. The sound of 's' at the end of a word

The rule is that if the 's' comes after a voiceless consonant (f, k, p, s), then the final 's' says /s/. If 's' comes after a voiced consonant or vowel, it says /z/.

Rules

  • If the consonant preceding the S is voiced, the S will be pronounced phonetically as a Z. Examples:

chairs /tʃerz/

/r/ is voiced.

machines /məˈʃiːnz/

bags /bæɡz/

  • If the consonant preceding the /S/ is voiceless, then the S will be pronounced as a voiceless consonant. Examples:

bats /bæts/

books /bʊks/

  • If a word ends with a hissing sounds /s/, /z/, /t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʒ/, or /ʒ/, then the -s ending sounds like /əz/. Examples:

watches /wɒtʃəz/

buzzes /bʌzəz/

dishes /dɪʃəz/

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