Getting to Know the Sounds of the Suffix —ed

Hearing letter sounds is a major key to learning to write and understand English. It can be confusing because many letters or letter combinations have more than one sound. Today I will go over one of the combinations – the suffix –ed.

The suffix –ed is used to represent past tense; plenty of even smaller children may realize this. What a person may not have given attention to is that –ed makes three different sounds.

A sentence to represent this  (and practice) is: He rented a boat, jumped in and sailed off.

Hear it? Rented — /ed/  (said like the name, Ed)

Jumped — /t/ (sounds like the sound of a “t”)

Sailed — /d/  (Sounds like a “d”)

Below are examples of words that have the three different sounds. It is good to dictate the words to students, have them write what you are saying, and be sure to have student read back what has been written.

-ed = /ed/           This sound comes after a t or d

Examples: melted, twisted, planted, rented, mended, printed, rusted, acted, blasted, sanded, punted, salted.

-ed = /d/             

Examples: grilled, banged, smiled, saved, shelled, drilled, spilled, yelled, changed, filmed, ganged

-ed = /t/

Examples: masked, jumped, fished, skipped, asked, camped, blocked, checked, kicked, dumped, honked, limped

More Advanced words: rowed (d), slipped (t), scrapped (t), smelled (d), stepped (t), snowed (d), turned (d), filled (d)

In class, we had a “bank” of words at the top of a worksheet and a “grid” under the word bank.  At the top of the grid were the –ed sounds. We were asked to put the words under the correct –ed sound. After we completed the assignment, we went over each word and the sound they made in class, as a discussion. You may be surprised at how people hear sounds differently!

For Example (our worksheet had many more):

Melted                                 Grilled                   Jumped                                                punted                 limped                  filmed

-ed = /ed/-ed = /d/-ed = /t/

Want more? Check out these resources:

Sounds of -ed Packet:
Also, find -ed taught in Scope & Sequence Workbook 1:
Want even more help? Visit Teachers Pay Teachers:
Or find plenty more at OGforALL:

(10) Comments

  1. Hello! First off — Thank you so much for running this blog! I was trained in OG over the summer but was not given any substantial handouts detailing some of the more complicated sounds or syllabications, and reading your posts about them has saved my lesson plans numerous times. You are a lifesaver! 🙂 About this post — I was just wondering if there was any sort of rule for when -ed says /d/ versus /t/? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jesi, so glad the blog is helping with your lesson plans! There’s no rule with the -ed sounds. Just being aware that it can make the three different sounds.
      Let me know any ideas or needs you have for the blog!
      Warmly, Jen

  2. In my OG training, we taught the three sounds of OG using a paper airplane. First, the students FOLDED the plane. They wrote -ed /ed/ on one wing. We then SAILED the plane and taught -ed says /d/. Finally, we PICKED it up and taught -ed says /t/. My students always remember this now, and if I just ask about their planes they remember instantly. ,

    I teach OG in a public middle school and have been so impressed by the results we see! I did the 180 hour OG training through the Children’s Dyslexia Center program and am halfway through my advanced training. I completed my 400 hours of required tutoring time, but need 2 more classes still to finish. I LOVE your site and find great hints and reminders on it. Thank you for all your work to share OG with this community.

  3. In my OG training, I was taught that suffix -ed says /d/ when the base word ends in a voiced sound.. it will say /t/ when the base word ends in an unvoiced sound. It says /ed/ when the base word ends in the letter t or d.

    1. Hi Lani, I learned the voiced and unvoiced as well, but to simplify the post I omitted it. I think I should (and will in the future) write a whole post on voiced and unvoiced sounds!

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