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Thread: past tense

  1. Newbie
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    #1

    past tense

    Sometimes when people say " I walked to school."
    I can't hear /w'ɔkt/ the "t" .Is it because of "to"?
    How do people know it is past tense?
    or it is my problem that I can't hear
    ?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: past tense

    You probably won't hear it unless the speaker is enunciating very carefully. We run the "-ed" into the "t". Context will almost always tell you which word they actually used.

    What did you do yesterday?
    I walked to school, then ...

    How do you get to school every day?
    I walk to school.

    They will sound very similar, if not identical, but the preceding question in my examples will make it clear what the answer should be.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: past tense

    A similar running together happens in contracted forms of the present perfect. with:

    's before words beginning with /s/ - he's settled, signed, sold, stopped, celebrated;
    've before word beginning with /f/ or 'v' - they've found, phoned, vanished.

    When the second (past-tense) and third (past participle) forms are the same, only context can tell us whether the speaker has used the past simple or the present perfect.

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    #4

    Re: past tense

    I think most if not all AmE speakers pronounce he's settled differently from "he settled", they've found​ differently from "they found", and walked to differently from "walk to". The difference is subtle, though, and learners should probably concentrate on gleaning the meaning from context.
    I am not a teacher.

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