132. Pronouncing ~ed Endings (with Added Romance and Horror)

Some pronunciation, some vocabulary, some romance and a little bit of horror-movie gore in this episode.

Right-click here to download this episode.

Hi everyone, I decided to teach you some essential language this time. Here’s what to expect from this episode:

The first part is about the pronunciation of ~ed endings (e.g. agED, beggED or wastED, etc)
The second part involves some -ed adjectives.
Then I teach you some idioms and very natural expressions.
The episode also includes a romantic story with sentences you can repeat, and a little bit of horror movie violence, just in case you were bored of all the ‘romance’.

For vocabulary notes, see below.

You can make donations by clicking PayPal donate buttons on my site. It’s my birthday next Wednesday. Just saying…

In this episode I’m going to teach you some really useful things. It’s been a while since I taught you things, or focused on language. Recent episodes have been interviews, which are really useful because you can listen to authentic English as it really is spoken, but I also think it’s important for us to look closely at some features of language too: either vocabulary, pronunciation or grammar (even though grammar is usually pretty boring unless you’re a grammar geek).

So, in this episode we’re going to focus on a few things.
First we’re going to look at pronunciation of –ed endings. That’s often a tricky area for many people around the world. We’re going to practice that a bit.
There will also be some vocab – some regular verbs that you might find useful, but also some –ed adjectives.

If that sounds a little basic, then worry not because I’m also going to throw in some more idiomatic language as we continue, and anyway this is Luke’s English Podcast. It’s always really fun and entertaining anyway. Darn it, I will make this entertaining as well as useful, if it’s the last thing I do!

There are language notes related to all of this on the website. I still have two websites; teacherluke.podomatic.com and teacherluke.wordpress.com.

So first; let’s look at ed endings.
They’re tricky for many people (particularly Brazilians)
They’re very common, so you really should be able to pronounce them all correctly
There are 3 ways to pronounce them
/t/ /d/ or /id/
Examples: asked agreed wanted
How do you know the correct pronunciation? It depends on the sound at the end of the word, before you add the –ed part.
If it’s an unvoiced sound then the –ed is pronounced /t/
If it’s a voiced sound then the –ed is pronounced /d/
If it’s a t or d sound then you add a syllable by using the /id/ sound
It’s hard to remember and process those rules during fluent speech, so don’t worry about it too much.
What you should do is practice repeating the words in sentences with correct pronunciation so you get used to saying them correctly.
For many of you this will involve unlearning many years of speaking in your native language, or many years of saying the words wrong (becquse you read the words from a page, or because no-one told you otherwise)
If you’re young then congratulations you stand a better chance of fixing this potentially fossilized error.

The verbs: Listen to the episode to hear the pronunciation of them. They’re all regular verbs ending in -ed.
touch / stop / stroll / suggest / walk / want / agree / ask / arrive / beg / blush / chat / decide / drop / enjoy / explain / gaze / grab / jump / knock / look / miss / open / phone / pick / recommend / reply / seem / scream / shock / show / skip / smile / squeeze / start

The Complete Story
1. I was sitting alone in my office when someone knocked on the door, and I stopped working.
2. The door opened, and a pretty woman walked in.
3. When she looked at me, my heart jumped. She was very beautiful. I gazed back at her for a moment.
4. My heart started beating faster. I couldn’t help noticing that she seemed nervous too. She blushed slightly when I looked at her.
5. “Are you Mr Thompson?”, she asked me.
6. “Yes, I am”, I replied. “How can I help you?”
7. “Sorry to bother you” she said. She smiled sweetly. “I’m the new girl in the office, I just arrived yesterday”
8. “Yes, I missed you yesterday, I was out of the office.”, I explained.
9. “Oh, it’s no problem, I phoned you, but you weren’t in. I just wanted to say that I’m really glad to be working with you. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
10. I blushed. She was being so nice. I decided to stop working, so I could show her around the office.
11. We strolled through the building, and I showed her around. As we chatted, we connected on a deep, meaningful level.
12. She asked me if I knew any nice restaurants in the area. I recommended a really good English one near the station.
13. She said she wanted a coffee, so I used the new machine to make her one. When I gave it to her, our hands touched briefly and my heart skipped a beat.
14. After a moment, I suggested that we go to the English restaurant together, for a romantic meal of fish and chips.
15. She agreed, and inside I was delighted. Later that evening, I picked her up on my scooter. As we rode through the bumpy streets, she squeezed my waist to hold on. When I sped up to 32mph she screamed with excitement!
16. We enjoyed a wonderful evening together. She was amazing! When I dropped her off at her house, I made a quick decision. “Will you… marry me?” I asked.
17. “…get …married?” she said, shocked. “The thing is… I can’t…”
18. “Why not?!” I begged. “I love you! Please marry me!!”
19. She grabbed my arm, and said. “I love you too, but I can’t marry you, because…”
What happened next? Leave a comment to give your opinion.

I didn’t know what was going on
I couldn’t get my head around it
It really messed with my head

I was gutted
I felt really let down
I felt really dejected

I was absolutely petrified
I nearly shat myself (very rude!)
I was shit scared (very rude!)

I just wanted the ground to swallow me up
I felt like such an idiot

I was so chuffed
I was over the moon
I felt amazing
I couldn’t believe it

I was riveted
It was absolutely fascinating
I was on the edge of my seat

I’m well up for it (enthusiastic)
I’m stoked
I’m buzzing

I’m knackered
I’m shattered
I just want to crash out

It was like a slap in the face
I was stunned
I couldn’t believe my ears/eyes

I jumped out of my skin

Nervous doesn’t mean angry or annoyed.
It means stressed and scared (like before the dentist).
Dentist: nervous
If someone is playing loud music, or clicking a pen: annoyed or angry.

That’s it!

  • deniz

    You absolutely know that what English learners would think and feel. Unlike others your podcasts not boring, actually very enjoyable. You have a great sense of humour and a lot of patience. I really feel lucky to find this website.

  • deniz


    Is it important to listen podcasts in order? I just look names of episodes and listen most interesting ones or make me think I need to learn first.

    You are doing a great job here you get nothing but thanks. I want to thank you for your efforts you need to know you really help us a lot. Sorry about my bad English.

    Greetings from Istanbul/Turkey

    • Hi Deniz – yes you can listen to them in any order, but some episodes are in a series and you should follow the order of the series (e.g. Telling Jokes Part 1, Part 2 etc).
      I do appreciate the positive comments. I think partly it’s because my podcast is free and people appreciate that. But also, it must be because I am doing something right!

  • Comment archive from Podomatic.com

    you are really the best teacher ever, i really enjoy listening to the lessons, and so easy to understand your accent, thank you (333 days ago)

    She grabbed my arm, and said. “I love you too, but I can’t marry you, because I am English Robot 5000.” Sabine (374 days ago)

    Thanks for your ideas everyone, keep them coming.
    Luke (405 days ago)

    She grabbed my arm, and said. “I love you too, but I can’t marry you, because, ” and then she made a dramatic pause, looked at me sadly with her beautiful eyes. That look I will never forget. Suddenly, she let my arm go, pulled away from me, turned around and disappeared in the cool night. I stood there, speechless, for hours trying to come to terms with what had just happened.
    No sooner had I started my scooter than my alarm went off. I yawned, rubbed my eyes and sat down on the verge of my bed. My eyes slowly adjusted to the dark as I was looking at the silhouette lying next to me. There she was, prettier than ever with her hair spread over the pillow. I drew close to her and kissed her cheek gently.

    I got up, went to the kitchen and put the kettle on. I needed a coffee. I knew it was going to be a long day. I did not recall the dream until later that morning when I watched her father taking her down the aisle, towards me, towards the man she was going to marry. She looked at me again, but this time, the sadness was gone. “Yes, I do,” she said and her words sounded like a carnival to my ears.

    Greeting from Prague

    Tomas (405 days ago)

    HAPPY BEERDAY!! (hope u understand why beer) tongue first of all. i love your podcasts i looked up british podcasts cause i want to get a british accent and your are the best teacher ever, congratulations and never stop doing what you love
    btw she can´t marry cause she sitll has a housband and she is in process of divorcing

    Christian (410 days ago)

    Hi Luke
    I like grammar podcast because it is useful for learners who don’t have enough time to read lot of grammar books, but my favourit podcast are the “interactive podcasts” when the listeners take part the it. For examples when we sent some sort conversation.

    Otherwise, the girl told you that I couldn’t marry you because i know you have a girlfriend. smiley


    Gabi (410 days ago)

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUKE! I really appreciate your help! I will show my appreciation in future, so please keep doing podcast until I start working. Wish your lovely day smiley (411 days ago)

    laughter!!!!!!!!!…..that was also soooo funny hassan (411 days ago)

    it was good..i CaN`T change my accent luke!…i`m trying hardly but some peoples are saying ” hey hassan you are mucking british accent” what shall i do? hassan (411 days ago)

    Hi, Luke!
    I just wanted to say you’re like new Danielle Steel with this story)))
    Love your podcasts! Ev (412 days ago)

    At first I thought that she was already married but I was totally wrong. I changed my mind and here I am with another explication because I want an happy end.
    You’ll never know why this girl said that she can’t marry you because you were dreaming! Yes it was only a dream and dreams are often mysterious.
    Remember Luke just after she said NO, you suddenly woke up beside your lovely girlfriend who squeezed tenderly your hand and smiled at you. The day you’ll ask your beautiful girlfriend if she’ll marry you the answer would certainly be YES…

    Bettina (414 days ago)

    Yes, I know the exact point where the audio goes quieter, as you say at the 23min point. I spent some time this afternoon correcting it. I put the whole track into Garageband and balanced the sound before and after 23mins, then raised the gain to the maximum level for the whole track. I then created a new mp3 of that. When I compared the original mp3 and the new one – THEY WERE EXACTLY THE SAME! All my work did nothing to fix the problem. It’s so frustrating. Sound quality is very important to me, but getting the conditions right for an excellent recording are actually really hard. This is why the BBC and other radio stations spend so much money on their studios.
    I’m glad you have improved your downloaded file using Audacity.
    I’m glad you enjoy the podcasts anyway, despite these small technical issues.
    Cheers! Have a nice Sunday evening. Luke Thompson (414 days ago)

    Very kind of you Luke. Something must be going wrong in the recording, from minute 23 exactly, see the highlight zone in the picture below.

    Following your advice I’m using Audacity to increase the volume of that zone 5dB, this is the graphic now:


    You can see it seems much more natural now, and the sound have improved a lot too. Of course I enjoy your podcasts anyway.

    Thank you very much!

    (414 days ago)

    Yes absolutely, I always try to keep the volume up as much as possible but sometimes, no matter how hard I try, it is always quiet on some episodes. I often boost the gain and volume level very high in my editing software but with little effect. Also, I’m using a new high quality mic which should help, but even that lets me down sometimes. For more volume you could try putting the episode into some audio software such as Audacity (available free to download) and then boosting the ‘gain’, then saving the track as an mp3. It might help. Glad you enjoyed the episode nonetheless. Luke (414 days ago)

    Great podcast! Keep speaking, you do it really well! (Please could you up the recording’s volume a little bit? The podcast begins well but at the middle it becomes so low that it’s hard to hear).
    Thank you very much!

    (414 days ago)

    Haha! True, it’s not nearly romantic enough!! Luke (414 days ago)

    That’s what happened next. She replied: “I can’t marry you because you own a scooter istead of a Lamborghini and you’re not on your knees with a ring of diamond. That’s not romantic enough, you know… Wrong time, wrong place, my dear!”. Cristina (414 days ago)

    Hello everyone!
    I’m Spanish and I learnt an easy and useful rule for Spanish people to pronounce the ~ed endings verbs. I don’t know if it is too accurate but works fine for me.

    If the verb in present finishes in -d or -t, the pronunciation of the past is “id” (no news here).

    If the pronunciation (not the spelling, but the pronunciation) of the verb in present finishes in “n”, “r”, “l” or “e” (“i” in Spanish, like in “agree”) the pronunciation of the past is “d”.

    All the rest, the pronunciation of the past is “t”.

    Luke, did you read my email about learning foreign languages theory?

    Your podcasts are fantastic, thank you very much for them.

    (415 days ago)

    Hi Luke, I’m Italian. Do you want to know why some people keep voting for B.? Very very simple. Think about the worst stereotypes about Italians.They are unfortunalely true for them. I’ve been traveling a lot across Europe and US, and I always had to work harder to be accepted in the business world. I always had to demonstrate first that I had nothing to do with those stereotypes. Since mister B. came to politics, things only got worst Jo63 (415 days ago)

    Well Luke i’m italian and i just agree with you about Berlusconi, i mean, you know… i’m always embarassed when people think we’re all like him, ’cause we’re not. Sadly he just promises to reduce taxes and 20% of the populaion keeps voting for him( about 50% of italians didn’t cast their vote ) (415 days ago)

    Brilliant Zdeněk!! (it must be you – no need to be paranoid, that’s a great and funny piece of writing) I look forward to reading other people’s endings to the story. Luke (416 days ago)

    “I can’t marry you because I’m from the future”, she said. “I came to warn you. You are in for a trouble Luke.” “What? I love you. I would do anything to be with you. From future? What trouble? What are you talking about? What’s going on? “, I kept throwing in question feeling very confused. “Luke, you must trust me, I’m not making this up. I have listened to all your podcasts, I know everything about you and I came to save your life. You are in serious danger” “This is the happiest day of my life – even happier than the day I won the McMillan dictionary award. I don’t believe anything can spoil it”, I responded.
    There is not much time left Luke. I put it off for way too long. We can’t afford to lose more time, she said. “But,…”, I interrupted her desperately. “Please shut up Luke and listen”, she snapped urgently. “By falling in love with you I am myself risking creating a rift in the space time continuum”, she said with a tear coming out of her left eye.
    My heart skipped a beat yet again. I offered her my last tissue to wipe the tear off. “Luke, in future, your podcast is going to become immensely popular, she said almost weeping.” “It already is massively popular”, I replied feeling slightly insulted. “You have no idea what is going to happen, Luke, trust me. You are to win another McMillian dictionary award and then some more dictionaries by Longman, Oxford and Cambridge and so on. In fact within 3 years you are going to win about 300 more dictionaries from different world publishers for the podcasts”, she said. This thought really amused me and I was wondering why she was going on about it in such an emotionally mad tone. “So what’s the problem? I will set up a few more competitions for my listeners and give them away like I always do, won’t I?”, I said looking at her wonderingly. “The problem, my beloved Luke, is that you are about to receive an immensely huge donation from a wealthy tycoon in Saudi Arabia. By the way, on the same day you will go binge drinking with your friends to celebrate it”, she managed a forced cute smiled.
    However, in a second, her smile was gone replaced by a miserably troubled look. “The next day you are going to buy all shares in the Arsenal football club. Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi and Rooney will be joining the team and Gunners shall become no match for any team in the whole world. Ironically enough, you will still be performing the stand-up comedies. In the half-times of the Barclays Premier League matches at the Emirates Stadium you will be entertain the whole crowd of Gooners with your jokes in Cockney accent”, said she. “Bullocks! I don’t believe a word you are saying. Can you somehow sort of prove that you are from the future or something? Have you got the Tardis anywhere round the corner possibly?” I asked in a British-like sarcastic voice feeling mildly disgruntled and upset. “Luke, you pig-headed podcasting beast, I told you, there is no time for explanations. You just have to trust me”, she cried out in an increasingly convincing strong voice. “ It will be in a London derby versus Spurs. You are going to prepare the most amazing fun material in the world. In fact, by the time you have been that famous, you won’t have to be funny at all, you will have been so loved by everyone that they will be lauguing at anything you say, basically. Anyway, the last joke you are going to say will be an absolute cracker. It is going to make the audience laugh so much, that, believe it or not, it will cause a minor earthquake in London”, she said her voice breaking. And then, the tears welled up in her eyes again.” “And then what?” I asked, at this point definitely feeling somewhat uneasy.
    ………………..someone carry on………….please smiley I’m not completely sure about the appropriateness of all the tenses I used. Since this is about the future which is inevitably going to happen I thought that the most appropriate thing to do is to use going to but for literary purposes I sometimes went for will and even will continuous and also future perfect and now I have a bit of a headache and I’m feeling slightly paranoid about the whole story smiley

    Anyway, this was my birthday present for you Luke, I know you prefer the donations but I’m a poor Cyech Cockn…I mean a teacher of English so I’m sure you will understand me. Gosh, now I feel even more paranoid. tongue

  • She was a man.:)

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  • Anatoliy D.

    I wish she said “Yes” :)

  • Thank you, Luke. Very useful!