Rules to spell the -ed suffix in the simple past tense

The following sections discuss the forms of both regular and irregular English verbs in the simple past tense as well as the pronunciation rules for regular English verbs.
Regular Past Tense Verbs

To form the simple past tense of most English verbs, the morphological suffix -ed is added to the end of the base form. (Morphemes are the smallest linguistic units with semantic meaning. The morphological suffix -ed signals a verb is conjugated into the simple past tense when suffixed to the base form of a verb.) The base form of an English verb is the infinitive without the preposition to functioning as an infinitive marker. For example, the following chart identifies the infinitive and simple past forms of some common regular English verbs:

* Infinitive – Simple Past
* to answer – answered
* to clean – cleaned
* to demand – demanded
* to learned – learned
* to need – needed
* to push – pushed
* to want – wanted
* to work – worked

English verbs that take the morphological suffix -ed to form the simple past tense are referred to as regular verbs.
Regular Past Tense Verb Spelling Changes

Some regular verbs experience some slight spelling changes in the simple past tense. For verbs that end with the letter e, only the morphological suffix -d is added to the end of the base form. For example:

* Infinitive – Simple Past
* to agree – agreed
* to believe – believed
* to die – died
* to invite – invited
* to live – lived
* to notice – noticed
* to save – saved
* to whine – whined

For verbs than end in a consonant followed by the letter y, the y changes to an i and is followed by the morphological suffix -ed. For example:

* Infinitive – Simple Past
* to apply – applied
* to carry – carried
* to copy – copied
* to deny – denied
* to party – partied
* to rely – relied
* to study – studied
* to try – tried

For verbs with one syllable that end in a single vowel sound followed by a single consonant (other than w or y), the final consonant is doubled and then the morphological suffix -ed is added to the end of the verb. For example:

* Infinitive – Simple Past
* to beg – begged
* to drip – dripped
* to nap – napped
* to pet – petted
* to rob – robbed
* to shop – shopped
* to stop – stopped
* to tug – tugged

For verbs with two syllables in which the second syllable is stressed, the final consonant is doubled and then the morphological suffix -ed is added to the end of the verb. For example:

* Infinitive – Simple Past
* to admit – admitted
* to benefit – benefited
* to commit – committed
* to concur – concurred
* to format – formatted
* to occur – occurred
* to prefer – preferred
* to regret – regretted

For verbs that end with the letter c, the letter k is added directly after the c and then the morphological suffix -ed is added to the end of the verb. For example:

* Infinitive – Present Participle
* to frolic – frolicked
* to mimic – mimicked
* to panic – panicked
* to picnic – picnicked
* to traffic – trafficked

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