Spelling Words Ending in -ed

We add -ed to the end of regular verbs to make the past simple and past participle forms. There are some spelling rules to follow when adding -ed to verbs.

Words ending in 'y'

There are two rules for words ending in 'y'.

1. Words with an /iː/ sound or an /аɪ/ sound

The words see and study end with an /iː/ sound.

The words buy and cry end with an /аɪ/ sound.

If the word ends with an /iː/ or /аɪ/ sound, you remove the 'y' and add -ied.

Words ending in 'y' with an /iː/ sound
verb verbed
study studied
carry carried
Words ending in 'y' with an /аɪ/ sound
verb verbed
cry cried
try tried

We use special symbols to show different sounds. They are called the phonetic alphabet.

2. Other sounds

For all other words ending in 'y', we just add -ed.

Words ending in 'y'
verb verbed
play played
enjoy enjoyed

Words ending in 'e'

For words endind in 'e' we just add -d.

Words ending in 'e'
verb verbed
love loved
smile smiled

Words that need a double letter

For some words you need to double the last letter before you add -ed. These words have a special pattern. The last three letters of the word have the pattern consonant-vowel-consonant (c-v-c).

Vowels are the letters a, e, i, o, u. All other letters are consonants.

The word skip follows this pattern.

s k i p
c v c
Words with a c-v-c pattern
verb verbed
skip skipped
admit admitted


There are some exceptions to doubling the last letter of c-v-c words.

1. If the word ends in 'w', 'x', or 'z' just add -ed.

Words with a c-v-c pattern ending in 'w', 'x', or 'z'
verb verbed
tow towed
box boxed

2. If the word has two syllables, and the stress is on the first syllable, we just add -ed.

An example is the word visit.

Words with a c-v-c pattern with a stressed first syllable
verb verbed
visit visited

These spelling rules only work for regular verbs. Have a look at the irregular verb tables to see how to spell irregular verbs.