The spelling and pronunciation of words in English do not always correspond. For example, the “s” in said sounds different than the “s” in sugar. Sometimes, the pronunciation of a word may seem illogical, but in other cases, such as word stress, there are certain rules or patterns that can help English language learners more quickly identify the proper pronunciation of words. Certain word endings in English also have simple pronunciation rules.
Unlike certain languages, English has grammatical endings that convey important information such as number (The packages have arrived.), possession (Take one of Tom’s.), contractions (She’s a nice person.), and tense (He writes well.). Therefore, it is important that word endings like these are clearly and correctly pronounced. In the sections that follow, the rules and pronunciation patterns of two grammatical endings, -s and -ed, will be discussed. Before getting started, check out this quick explanation of voiced and voiceless sounds.