3 Sounds of Suffix -ED + Free Printable Rules Poster

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Learn all about the three sounds of suffix -ed, including the rules for when each sound is used within base words. Then grab yourself a free printable poster that will reinforce the rules for correctly pronouncing -ed sound words!

Graphic with stars and rainbows with large poster showing 3 sounds of suffix - ed with rules and examples.

All About Suffix -ED

When you add the suffix -ed to a regular verb, it makes the word past tense. Thankfully, the spelling of past tense -ed is simple enough, so students learn to add the letters –ed to make the verb past tense.

However, pronunciation can be tricky! That’s why these rules need to be explicitly taught.

Depending on the base word, we have rules for correctly pronouncing the word. If children learn the rules, they can know how to pronounce the word correctly.

Voiced vs. Voiceless

In order for students to learn these rules, they first need to be familiar with the terms ‘voiced’ and ‘voiceless’ sounds.

🗣Voiced means the vocal cords are turned on.

An easy way to check to see a sound is voiced is to say the sound with your hands on your vocal cords. If you feel the vocal cords vibrating, then the sound is voiced.

Voiced sounds include: a, e, i, o, u, b, d, g, j, l, m, n, r, v, w, y, z, th (the).

👤Voiceless means that the vocal cords are not turned on and only air comes out when saying the letter sound.

Unvoiced sounds include: f, h, k, p, s, t, x, qu, ch, sh, th (with)

Graphic with all letters of the alphabet organized into voiced or unvoiced categories.

3 Sounds of -ED

Suffix -ed can make three sounds: /ed/ /d/ and /t/. Students should learn the rules for each pronunciation.

Why teach these rules? Learning the -ed rules will help children read words correctly with proper pronunciation, and knowing the rules will also help with spelling.

Often times children may hear a /t/ or /d/ at the end of a past tense verb, so when they attempt to spell the word they add the letter t or the letter d. Knowing that suffix -ed can say all three sounds will help kids to spell words correctly.

1. /ed/

Rule: The /ed/ sound comes after the letter t or d at the end of the base word.

Examples: listed, ended, landed, chatted, twisted, tilted, acted, rented.

2. /d/

Rule: The /d/ sound is made when the final sound of the base word is voiced.

Examples: filmed, grilled, banged, smiled, saved, yelled, raised, sailed.

3. /t/

Rule: The /t/ sound is made when the final sound of the base word is unvoiced.

Examples: masked, hushed, jumped, fished, skipped, asked, kicked.

📃 3 Sounds of -ED Poster

Grab this fun, bright poster that clearly outlines the three ways to pronounce suffix -ed, along with the rules and examples.

👌Tip: Print on poster-size paper and hang as an anchor for your students. You can also print it on regular paper and staple it inside your student’s phonics notebook as a personal reference.

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Graphic with "Free Poster" and the poster showing 3 sounds of suffix - ed.

Download & Print

Are you using this poster? We’d love to hear about your experience using them! Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn.

TERMS: All resources and printables are designed for personal use only in your own home and classroom. Each person must visit this site and download their own free copy. Please do not photocopy, email, or reproduce our printable resources for other teachers, and please do not reproduce our printables on the web or save them to a shared drive. Instead, please share the resources with others by using the social share links provided or by distributing the link to the blog post itself. This allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! If you have any questions, please email us. Thank you!

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