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Spelling -ED Ending Rules

 The following is a guide to the correct spelling of words ending -ED.

Remember: Not all words that end in -ED are verbs in the past tense. Sometimes they are Past Participles or they could even be Adjectives ending in -ED. For now we will mostly use verbs in the Past Tense as examples though the same rules apply to all words ending in -ED

The general rule when changing a word (or verb) into its -ED form is just to add -ED to the end of it.

InfinitiveED form
to playplayed
to waitwaited
to workworked
to rainrained
  • He played with his dog in the backyard.
  • waited for them to invite me.
  • She worked until late last night.
  • It rained all day.

Spelling Exceptions

The following exceptions exist when spelling words ending in ED:

1). If a word ends in an E we just add the D to the end.

InfinitiveED form
to livelived
to loveloved
to smilesmiled
to dancedanced
  • lived in Japan for two years and then moved to Thailand.
  • loved the surprise you had for me.
  • He smiled when he saw his wife come through the door.
  • They danced until their feet hurt.

2). If the word ends in a Consonant + Vowel + Consonant, we double the final consonant and add ED.

InfinitiveED form
to stopstopped
to admitadmitted
to planplanned
to referreferred
to commitcommitted
  • The policeman stopped the thief from escaping.
  • He admitted that he was wrong.
  • We planned a surprise birthday party for our friend.
  • referred the students to the website where they could practice some more.
  • They committed a serious crime and will end up in jail.

3). If a two-syllable verb ends in a Consonant + Vowel + Consonant, we DO NOT double the final consonant when the stress is on the FIRST syllable.

InfinitiveED form
to happenhappened
to enterentered
to offeroffered
to suffersuffered
  • What happened?
  • entered through the back door.
  • She was offered a new position with a higher salary.
  • Many people are suffered from a lack of food and water.

4). BUT, we DO NOT double the final consonant when the word ends in W, X or Y or when the final syllable is not stressed.

InfinitiveED form
to fixfixed
to enjoyenjoyed
to snowsnowed
  • He fixed his bike.
  • We enjoyed our time in the North of Chile.
  • It snowed yesterday.

5). If the verb ends in consonant + vowel + L, we normally double the final L and add ED.

Note: In the United States (US) they DO NOT double the L when the accent is on the first syllable.

InfinitiveED form
ED form
to traveltravelledtraveled
to marvelmarveledmarveled
  • I traveled around South America in 2012.
  • Her beauty marveled us.

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