On the Cambridge dictionary website, if you search "hooked", the US IPA given is /hʊkt/.

and if you click the audio button, it does indeed end with a "t" sound,

I know the spelling and actual pronunciation isn't always a perfect match in English, but I don't recall ever seeing an exception where a "d" is pronounced as a "t", or maybe I've just been illiterate my whole life

Is this a special case or something?

  • I think this happens any time you have an unvoiced consonant other than "t" itself, followed by the suffix "-ed". Examples: stepped, gripped, marked, parked. They're all pronounced as if they're spelled stept, gript, markt, parkt. Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 16:14
  • 1
    I remember once hearing someone say on the radio that in her family they called a boiled egg a 'deg' and a poached egg a 'teg' (because of the different way we pronounce the final consonants). Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


It's a fact about the human vocal tract that consonant clusters that differ in voicing are difficult to pronounce, because changing from voiced to voiceless consonants requires independent movement of the larynx, which can be difficult to switch on and off at the millisecond timing required for consonant clusters.

That's why the rules of English consonant clusters (English Phonotactic constraints) forbid coda clusters (a cluster at the end of a word) in which obstruents (/s t z d p b k g/ etc) differ in voicing. Therefore, we do not find */zt/, */sd/, */kd/, */gt/ etc., at the end of English words. (These are 'sounds', not 'spelling', don't confuse them.)

There are some reliable rules for the pronunciation of the -ed.

  1. When the sound preceding the -ed is voiced (/b m v n z l r d͡ʒ g/ etc., except /d/), the -ed is pronounced /d/. So in words like robbed, roamed, buzzed, called, moved, changed, bugged etc., the -ed is pronounced [d]
  2. When the preceding sound is voiceless (/p f s ʃ t͡ʃ k/ etc., except /t/), the -ed is pronounced [d]. Examples: mopped, miffed, dished, passed, reached, hooked etc., have /t/ at the end.
  3. When the preceding sound is /d/ or /t/, the -ed is pronounced [ɪd] as in wanted, ended, amended etc.

The -ed in the word 'hooked' is preceded by a voiceless sound, so it's pronounced [hʊkt].

  • ʃ is the 'sh' sound as in 'ship', t͡ʃ is the 'ch' sound as in 'chip', d͡ʒ is the j in 'jam'.
    – Void
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 17:03
  • What about the following sound? When I say "hooked in", the "d" sounds more like it's voiced. Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 17:11
  • @JackO'Flaherty: It's supposed to be 'hookt in'. But I agree that it can sound more like 'd', the reason is 'syllabification'. If you syllabify it as [Hook][ed+in], then the 'ed' now starts a separate syllable and can sound like 'd'. However, if you syllabify it as [Hook+ed][in], then it's supposed to be pronounced Hukt-in.
    – Void
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 17:14

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