Posts Tagged ‘regular verbs’

Regular and irregular verbs: British and American differences

April 9th, 2011 in Words

In American English the verbs burn, dream, lean, learn, smell, spell, spill and spoil are all regular.

Burn / burned / burned
Dream / dreamed / dreamed
Lean / leaned / leaned
Learn / learned / learned
Smell / smelled /smelled
Spell / spelled /spelled
Spill / spilled / spilled
Spoil / spoiled / spoiled

In British English, these verbs are usually irregular with past tenses and past participle forms ending in –t.

Burn / burnt / burnt
Dream / dreamt / dreamt
Lean / leant / leant
Learn / learnt / learnt
Smell / smelt / smelt
Spell / spelt / spelt
Spill / spilt / spilt
Spoil / spoilt / spoilt

Note that regular forms are also used in British English, but they are much less common.

In American English, spit has both spit and spat as past tense and past participle.

Quit and wet are regular in British English.

Quit / quitted / quitted
Wet / wetted / wetted

In American English these verbs are irregular

Quit / quit / quit
Wet / wet / wet

Dive is regular in British English, but can be irregular in American English.

Dive / dived / dived (GB)
Dive / dove / dived (US)

In American English, the past participle of get can be got or gotten.