Today in my English class my teacher taught us about the "plan" verb using it in present perfect.

I was curious what is the right pronunciation of "planned" in American or British accent because as far as I have read in other books and sources, the "ed" sound in this word is pronunciated as /d/.

I also use applications like Elsa Speak which I think is good to improve the pronunciation and when I try the word "planned" I pronunciate it as "plant" and I got a score of 90% but my teachers pronunciation of "ed" in "planned" sounds like /z/.

Are "planned" and "plant" pronunciated same way?

I also checked them in dictionary.cambridge.org which as far as I know it is the "ultimate" or "official" way to pronunciate the words and the phonemes for these words are different. I wonder if "you can pronunciate planned as plant and people will understand you in most of cases" applies in this case?

  • I can't think of any variety of English that pronounces "planned" as "plant". I'm not saying there isn't one, but certainly no standard variety accepts that.
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 22:29
  • It's pretty standard to pronounce "ed" as /d/ after voiced consonants like /m/ /n/ /z/ /g/
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 22:46
  • 1
    In my BrE (South-East), plant rhymes with aren't, aunt, can't, but planned rhymes with band, canned, stand. Completely different vowel sounds, quite apart from the final consonant. Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 3:14
  • 1
    @gotube - I've listened to audiobooks where the American reader says 'second' in a way that sounds like 'secont' to my British ears. More than one, mostly from Audible. Not all readers do this; I think it might be a regional thing, although those who do it do not have heavy US regional accents. Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 8:21
  • 1
    @MichaelHarvey: That's the way we (at least some of us) pronounce second — with a /t/. It does not rhyme with reckoned, which has a /d/. It's an exceptional word, and I can't think of any other cases where we pronounce 'nd' as /nt/. Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


Plant is pronounced with a final /t/ (unvoiced), and planned is pronounced with a /d/ (voiced). In addition, in British English the middle vowel is pronounced differently.

Under no circumstances is -ed pronounced /z/. You can find out more about how -ed is pronounced in different situations here.

Note that a final /d/ may sound more like a /t/ to some non-native speakers, and this may also affect their ability to reproduce the sound correctly.

In any language, a particular phoneme may be produced differently depending on the context- what phonemes precede or follow it- and production rules vary between languages. In German, a final voiced consonant becomes unvoiced, in French many final consonants are dropped completely, and in Italian final consonants are uncommon.

Your perception of a phoneme, and your ability to reproduce it, may be affected by differences between the production rules of your own language and those of the language that you are learning.

There are several cues to distinguish voiced and unvoiced consonants. The main ones are:

  • the strength of the release
  • pre-voicing: whether the vocal cords are active before the release
  • post-voicing: whether the vocal cords are active after the release.

In English, for a voiced consonant, pre-voicing usually only occurs after a vowel or voiced consonant, and post-voicing usually only occurs when followed by a vowel. The only reliable cue is that the release is stronger in unvoiced consonants. The absence of post-voicing after a final consonant may make a final /d/ sound more like a /t/ to non-native speakers: as a result, they may reproduce it as a /t/.

  • All this is very true and something beginners need to learn. But it also must be said that the ed in planned is the same in any English. I would not even mention German, who cares? Why not make a list that is easily readable with examples?
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:26
  • How does this answer the OP's question? You don't mention the word "planned". I don't think the OP is asking for the rules of "-ed" pronunciation, but whether "planned" has a pronunciation exception
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:27
  • 1
    @Lambie You are looking at this from the perspective of a native english speaker. I English Language Learners use different pronunciation rules, and Final Obstruent Devoicing may be an issue that makes them (and possibly the OP), say planned as plant. German is a good example. If they understand why they mis-pronounce it, it's easier to correct.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 22:44
  • @gotube I have added an answer to the specific question. The remaining text still needs to be said, because it explains two common issues for English Language Learners when pronouncing -ed.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 22:55
  • OK. I've removed my dv. Why do you say the last sound of "planned" is "something between /t/ and /d/"? Isn't it just plain /d/?
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 0:47

The word "plant" ends with a [t]. The word planned ends with a [d]. So they don't sound the same.

There are three different sounds to learn: First [th], this is the sound of "t" at the start of words like "top". It is "aspirated" and pronounced with a little puff of air. There is the unaspirated [t]. This sound is made when "t" isn't at the start. For example in "stop". And finally, there is the sound [d] that is made in, for example, "dog". The [d] sound is voiced, but unaspirated.

Native English speakers are generally unaware of the difference between [th] and [t]. They sound the same to us. In other languages these are different. In some languages the aspirated [th] is written in Latin script as "t" and the unaspirated [t] is written as "d".

Native English speakers are generally aware of the difference between [d] and [t], especially when these consonants are not at the start of a word.

You might be able to "get away with it", in context, as the grammatical roles of "plant" and "planned" are very different, and people might not notice the mistake - it will just be part of your accent.

The final consonant is never a fricative /z/ or /s/.

  • in the word planned, the end bit is exactly the same. The only difference and it can be minor at that is the a sound. deplaned/planned shows the contrast. Why get into British and American English for this particular term? Only the a might be different.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:33
  • "deplaned" I don't recognize that word, what does it mean? How is it pronounced?
    – James K
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:35
  • It means to disembark from an aircraft, it's formed using the word plane. It is pronounced as you might expect, like plane.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:38
  • is that relevant to the similarity or otherwise in the pronunciation of "planned" and "plant"? Deplaned would (I suppose) have an /ei/ vowel sound, but the "ed" would be /d/ just as in planned, but different to plant.
    – James K
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:41
  • 1
    I think your answer is too complicated for this OP. I think you need to spell out the t versus ed sound with examples and not use too many heavy linguistic terms. Also, the pond difference is not relevant to those past tenses. It's only for the sound of the a, in some cases. Even I have to try and work out what your examples are, as in your second paragraph.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:49

Pronunciation in English differs by accent, which generally depends on which region/country the speaker is from, so technically there is no "right way" to pronounce any word in English, not even within the same country. There are of course standard accents of English, but obviously not everybody speaks in standard accents. For example, I'm Scottish, live in the UK, and speak Standard Scottish English and my own Scots dialect, but I don't speak what some would consider Standard British English (or RP), which I would actually consider to be an accent of southern England, and certainly not the whole country.

The OED online gives the following for plant (note that there are two described for British English)

Brit. /plɑːnt/, /plant/, U.S./plænt/

The adjective/past tense planned

Brit. /pland/, U.S. /plænd/

Sources: The OED online

For me, /plant/ and /pland/ are the way that I pronounce these. Also I have never heard any native speaker of English use the pronunciation /plant/ for planned. It always ends with a distinctive d sound. To my Scottish ears, the vowel that Americans use for these words sounds a little different from the British versions, but it makes little difference when it comes to understanding Americans. I suspect the same would be true vice-versa.

What I have noticed with Americans is that when there is a t at the end of a word which comes before a vowel in the next word, I often hear them use a tapped-d sound to link the two words, whereas here in the UK this is not so common. You are probably more likely to hear a glottal stop used in the UK to replace a final t sound. Again this is just an accent thing and doesn't affect understanding.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .