Monday, 23 November 2009
Learnt & Learned
I didn't think 'learned' was a word. After arguing with a friend about the proper past tense for the word 'learn', I decided to look it up. It turns out that both 'learnt' and 'learned' are equally grammatically correct. They are alternative forms of the past tense and past participle of the verb. 'Learnt' is more common in British English, and 'learned' in American English. There are a number of verbs of this type (burn, dream, kneel, learn, leap, spell, spill, spoil etc.). They are all irregular verbs, and this is a part of their irregularity. For most, but not all, of these irregular verbs I use the 't' in past tense. I like that I'm a little more British than I am American (6 out of the 9 words I would use with a 't').