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Pronouncing the Word “Blessed”

We recently received inquiries from some of our readers regarding the proper way to pronounce blessed. The word blessed can be used and pronounced in two different ways.

Rule 1. When blessed is used as a verb, it is pronounced with one syllable (blest):

Example for the pronunciation blest:

Devon is blessed with amazing athletic ability.

 

 Rule 2. When the word blessed is used as an adjective, adverb (blessedly), or noun (blessedness), blessed is pronounced with two syllables (bles-id).

Examples for the pronunciation bles-id:

Annie’s baptism was a blessed moment, particularly for her devoted grandparents.

Blessed are the poor.

 

Pop Quiz

1. The priest blessed (pronounced blest or bles-id) the candles at the ceremony.

2. The couple was blessed (pronounced blest or bles-id) with a healthy baby girl.

3. I don’t have a blessed (pronounced blest or bles-id) dime to my name.

 

Answers:

1. The priest blessed (pronounced blest) the candles at the ceremony.

2. The couple was blessed (pronounced blest) with a healthy baby girl.

3. I don’t have a blessed (pronounced bles-id) dime to my name.

 

Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at 2:28 pm


11 Comments

11 Responses to “Pronouncing the Word “Blessed””

  1. Carol R. says:

    Can you give me the words “blessed” and “blest” in a sentence? I know one is a verb and one is an adjective. If one were to say “I have been blest,” would that be correct? Can you use “blest” without the “have been” (such as “I was blest”)?

    • Jane says:

      Pronouncing the word blessed was the topic of our weekly E-Newsletter on August 14, 2012, (shown above) and should answer your questions. Here is the link for your reference: Pronouncing the Word “Blessed”. Although I didn’t cover it in the newsletter, when the word is used as a verb (as in Rule 1), it may also be spelled blest.

  2. Jenn H. says:

    So is the spelling “blest” gramatically correct?

  3. Lee Anne Bean says:

    Excellent and quick information

  4. Jeanie says:

    My Mother and I both write poems, we need to know how to spell Bless’ed, so that people will pronounce it that way and not blest.
    Can you tell me how to spell Bless’ed or Bless’id in poems and prayers, etc?
    And is it ok to put the ‘ in the word like I did above?
    Thank you for your help,
    Jeanie

    • Writing the word blessed with an apostrophe and a capital letter is not what we consider grammatically correct. As we imply in the blog, readers need to recognize that when used as an adjective, adverb, or noun, the word should be pronounced bles-id, while the verb is pronounced blest.
      Creative writing and poetry do not always follow strict rules of grammar. Even if you spell the word bless’ed, it is possible that readers still might pronounce it blest. Writing bless’id looks like a misspelled word.

  5. Matt says:

    I’ve often seen poetry in which words are split out using a hyphen to indicate a new syllable. In your example, this might mean writing “blessed” like this: “bless – ed”.

    It might stand out and disrupt the flow of the rest of the verses if you didn’t apply this rule to other words, too.

  6. Cari Apostol says:

    So it is a noun, adjective or verb when used in Matthew 5:3-11? I’ve heard it both ways. I want to say Blest…but I know most would say Blessed.

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