Pronouncing Word Endings – #79280

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Pronouncing Word Endings – #79280



english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

The endings of words are important because the meaning of words change based on the endings. From word endings we can understand if something happened in the past or is happening right now. (ed or ing). We can also tell how many items someone is talking about (s).

If you have trouble with word endings, you should slow down your speech and practice finishing the word.

Past Tense Endings
When a word ends in the past tense “ed” the pronunciation isn’t always the same. Its pronunciation depends on the sound just before the “ed.”

“ED” is pronounced as /id/ with an extra syllable after /t/ or /d/
    voted, voted, founded, founded

“ED” is pronounced as /d/ after voiced sounds (the “e” is not pronounced)
    showed, showed, bored, bored

“ED” is pronounced as /t/ after unvoiced sounds
    fixed, fixed, searched, searched

Final “s”
When nouns are plural (more than one) there is usually an “S” on the end of the word:
ten books

When a subject of a sentence is singular (except for I and you), the verb often has an “S”
on the end of it: She leads a meeting every morning.

The “S” at the end of words is pronounced differently depending on the sound just before it.

“S” is pronounced as /s/ after unvoiced sounds
    develops, develops, overtakes, overtakes

“S” is pronounced as /z/ after voiced sounds
    buys, buys, computers, computers

“S” is pronounced as /Iz/ after /s,z,sh,zh,ch,j/ sounds.
    wishes, wishes, judges, judges

Incomplete sounds at the end of words
Have you ever noticed that native speakers seem to cut off the ends of words? If you have, then you’ve got good listening skills! However, those speakers are not really cutting off the end of the word, they are just not releasing the full sound.

This is an advanced technique of speaking that you can practice and use to sound more natural. But don’t try this until you’ve become comfortable with pronouncing the endings of words.

When you are finishing a word that ends in “T,” “D,” “P” or “B” you must start making the final sound by putting your tongue and mouth in the position for the sound. But instead of releasing the air for those words, you hold your mouth in that position.

late is pronounced la(te)
add is pronounced a(dd)
up is pronounced u(p)
cab is pronounced ca(b)

But, remember, it is VERY important to start the sound. Your mouth MUST be in the position to say this sound. If your mouth is not in the position for this final sound, the word will sound unfinished.

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