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ESL forum > Message board > ED pronunciation hell    

ED pronunciation hell

United Kingdom

ED pronunciation hell
I was wondering if anybody can think of some more examples. I know there are more but the old brain is not at its best this morning. If I get enough, I will do a worksheet on this to annoy my students.

10 Mar 2024      


Hey, I think the poem "Chaos" may help you:

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it�s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation�s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won�t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It�s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Looking forward to the worksheet, love to "annoy" my students ;-) 

10 Mar 2024     


Exceptions to the -ed ending rules

Here are some common words where the -ed endings all use the /ɪd/ pronunciation despite not ending with the spellings �ded� or �ted�, as we looked at in the first rule.

crooked /ˈkrʊ.kɪd/  Bent or twisted out of shape.The path was crooked.
wicked /ˈwɪ.kɪd/Evil or morally wrong.wicked witch.
naked /ˈneɪ.kɪd/Without clothes. They drew a naked figure.
learned /ˈlɝː.nɪd/Have much knowledge from reading or studying. learned professor explained the topic.
blessed /ˈbles.ɪd/Holy or sacred.The blessed event.
aged /ˈeɪ.dʒɪd/Old or elderly.He�s an aged man.

Notice that all these words are adjectives

Remember that some of these words can also be pronounced differently depending on the word class. For example, �aged� is pronounced as /ˈeɪdʒd/ when it is a verb, but is pronounced as /ˈeɪ.dʒɪd/ when it is an adjective. 

Other examples are: dogged , ragged, wretched


10 Mar 2024     

United Kingdom

Thank you, guys!
Dogged and wretched, eh? I think I have enough for a worksheet and the exact kind of vocabulary that will annoy the hell out of them!  

11 Mar 2024     


That is because naked is an adjective. It is not a regular changed verb form. Naked has its pronunciation. It doesn�t follow the pronunciation rules of "ed".

11 Mar 2024     


I like the example f "moped" and "moped" --> The teenager moped all day after falling off his/her moped.

11 Mar 2024     

United Kingdom

Thanks, FrauSue. A nice word, too, moped. I have never taught to mope before. 

12 Mar 2024     


Did you ever think about the fact that read and lead rhyme, and read and lead rhyme,
but read and lead don�t rhyme, and neither do read and lead.....

I like to use this one to check who reads reads really fluently..Wink

7 Apr 2024