Teaching Regular Verbs

Regular Verbs appear to be simple and straightforward. Yes, they all have the -ed suffix but English students must learn pronunciation and spelling rules.

Pronunciation Rules

1. When teaching pronunciation, begin with verbs that end with the /d/ or /t/ sounds. These verbs may end with a silent e. These all add an unstressed syllable to the word pronounced /id/.
  • Verbs that end with the /d/ sound: add-ed, need-ed, shad-ed
  • Verbs that end with the /t/ sound: start-ed, paint-ed, tast-ed
2. Next, practice adding the /t/ sound to the verbs that end with voiceless consonant sounds. Note that it might be spelled with a silent e. These verbs do not gain a new syllable, just the /t/ sound.
  • Verbs that end with the /f/ sound: sniffed, knifed
  • Verbs that end with 'gh', the /f/ sound: laughed, coughed
  • Verbs that end with the /k/ sound: cooked, liked
  • Verbs that end with the /p/ sound: helped, hopped
  • Verbs that end with the /s/ sound: missed, kissed
  • Verbs that end with 'x', the /ks/ sound: fixed, boxed,
  • Verbs that end with the /ch/ sound: watched, matched
  • Verbs that end with the /sh/ sound: washed, brushed
3. Lastly, practice adding the /d/ sound to the verbs that end with the voiced consonants and vowels. Note that the verb may be spelled with a silent e.  Likewise, these verbs do not gain a new syllable, just the /d/ sound. 
  • Verbs that end with the /b/ sound: robbed, grabbed
  • Verbs that end with the /g/sound: bagged, hugged
  • Verbs that end with the /j/ sound: changed, lodged 
  • Verbs that end with the /l/ sound: filed, bowled
  • Verbs that end with the /m/ sound: named, screamed
  • Verbs that end with the /n/ sound: rained, turned
  • Verbs that end with the /r/ sound: covered, offered
  • Verbs that end with the /v/ sound: lived, moved
  • Verbs that end with the /z/ sound: sized, realized 
  • Verbs that end with a vowel sound: stayed, enjoyed

Spelling Rules for adding - ed  

1. Add a suffix to a verb ending with two consonants.
  • start + ed = started
  • mark + ed = marked

2. 1-1-1 Rule: Double the final letter when the verb has 1 syllable, 1 short vowel, and ends with 1 consonant. (x is not doubled)

  • hop + p + ed = hopped
  • hug + g + ed = hugged
3. If a word ends with Silent E, drop the e and add -ed.
  • like - e + ed = liked
  • hope - e + ed = hoped 
4. If a word ends with vowel + Y,  add -ed.
  • play + ed = played
  • enjoy + ed = enjoyed
5. If a word ends with consonant + Y, change the Y to I and add -ed.
  • cry - y + ied = cried
  • reply - y + ied = replied
6. Double the final L for a two-syllable word that end with a stressed syllable. (USA)
  • control + l + ed = controlled
7. Double the final letter of a two-syllable word that ends with 1 short vowel, 1 consonant and 1 stressed syllable.
  • admit + t + ed = admitted
  • refer + r + ed = referred


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