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Post By
Merzah the Mystic

In Reply To

Subj: Re: Question About Past Tense Word Usage
Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 03:17:05 pm EST (Viewed 643 times)
Reply Subj: Question About Past Tense Word Usage
Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 08:52:20 am EST (Viewed 791 times)

    If people hang themselves, is it correct to say they "hanged" themselves or they "hung" themselves? (I always thought the correct phrase was "hung.")

    And if someone leaps, do you say "leaped" or "leapt?" ( I always thought the correct word was "leapt."

    And if someone creeps, do you say "creeped" or "crept?" (I always thought the correct word was "crept.)

    Or, if someone had a dream, is it correct to say "She dreamed", or should it be "She dreamt..."?

    But sometimes when I hear people talking about the past tenses of words, they will use "hanged," "leaped", "dreamed," etc.

    Or, is either version of the past tense acceptable?

In the UK (and the English speaking world outside of North America) "learned" "creeped" and so forth would all be considered generally incorrect.

American Eglish tends to try to make verbs regular (past tense with "-ed" ending, while a lot of British verbs are irregular). This probably comes from being an immigrant country and the tendancy to simplify things for non-English speakers (the majority of immigrants came from non-english European countries).

you will see this with nouns as well. The term "kennel" became "doghouse" a very easy to understand term. "pavement" became "sidewalk" another simple term.

Americans also seem to have a bit of an aversion to perfect tenses. "did you ever see that show?" vs "have you ever seen that show?"

However, Ive seen some interesting uses. "burnt" is still used in American English as in "I burnt my toast." but the colloquial use seems to be "I got burned." Its just interesting to see how language develops.

So as to what is "correct", well it depends which version of English youre talking about. Anything becomes correct if enough people use it.

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