Regular verbs are action words that all follow the same pattern for the past simple and the past participle tenses. Regular verbs are the easy ones for you to learn. They are so easy because they have a rule that actually works for all regular verbs. This rule tells us the ending of the verb.
We already know that before a verb is modified, it looks like this: to + infinitive
The rule for regular verbs is to add an ‘ed’ on to the end of the infinitive. This rule applies to the past tense and the participle (second and third columns).
The only tricky part is pronouncing the ‘ed’, but we’ll get onto that later.
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
regular verb examples in use
Let’s take a look at some examples of regular verbs in action. I’ve included the infinitive and an illustrated example in the past simple or past participle.
spelling past tense regular verbs
I know what you’re thinking, this seems too good to be true? Well, you’re right (kind of)! Take a look at my tips for spelling regular verbs in the past simple and the past participle.
Once you’ve learnt these three rules, you’ve cracked regular verbs.
pronouncing ‘ed’ of past tense regular verbs
I may have told a little white lie, you haven’t quite cracked regular verbs yet. There is one more thing you have to learn…
You know how to spell these verbs, but do you know how to pronounce them? A lot of my students find pronouncing these very difficult. This is because the ‘ed’ is not pronounced like the ‘ed’ in ‘Edward’ as one would think. The good news is there is a fool proof formula for working out the pronunciation.
So, there are three ways of pronouncing the ‘ed’ for past tense regular verbs, participles and adjectives. I’ve illustrated them below. You should learn voiced and voiceless sounds to help you differentiate between the endings.
You can test this rule by choosing a verb, find the ending, and practice pronouncing it.
regular verb list with pronunciation instructions
Wouldn’t it be good if someone made a list of all the regular verbs and colour-coded it so you know how to pronounce the ending?
Your wish is my command.
Here is a colour-coded list which corresponds to the above pictures with examples. Go ahead and practice pronouncing them.
Watch this video if you’d like to hear what pronouncing the different ‘ed’ endings sound like.