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Spelling of the -ed forms


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The spelling of the simple past form (-ed forms)

You will learn the spelling of the simple past form (-ed form.) But before you continue the lesson study the following examples and try to see how the verbs are spelled.

Verbs ending in a...
1. silent e 2. vowel + y 3. consonant + y 4. other forms
close = closed
die = died
phone = phoned

play = played
destroy = destroyed
show = showed

marry = married
carry = carried
study = studied
visit = visited
miss = missed
watch = watched
finish = finished
fix = fixed
buzz = buzzed

The rules of the simple past tense forms:

Here are the rules:

    1. Regular verbs ending in a silent e take /-d/ in the simple past and past participle:
      Example:
      close=closed
    2. Regular verbs ending in a vowel + y take /-ed/ in the simple past and past participle:
      Example:
      play=played
    3. Regular verbs ending in a consonant + y take /-ied/ in the simple past and past participle (the y becomes an i followed by /-ed/)
      Example:
      marry=married
    4. All the other regular vebs take /-ed/ in the simple past and past participle.
      Example:
      visit=visited

Special cases of the -ed forms:

Follow these rules when there is a consonant after a vowel (stop, ban, open, offer...)

  • If there is a consonant after a stressed vowel at the end of the word, double the consonant
    stop – stopped
    ban - banned
    swap - swapped
  • If the vowel is not stressed, we do not double it:
    open - opened (Here the stress is on'o', not the 'e'.)
    offer - offered ( Here the stress is on 'o', not the 'e'.)

In British English we double the last l even though the last vowel is not stressed. Here are some examples:

  • travel - travelled
  • cancel - cancelled
  • level - levelled
  • marvel - marvelled
Exercise on the spelling of the ed forms.