Irregular past tenses ending in ''t''

Merriam Webster   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 00:47 GMT
Are irregular past tenses ending in ''t'' going away?


I've also heard that some people are starting to use the ''creeped'' instead of the standard ''crept''.

Are irregular past tenses ending in ''t's'' rather than ''ed's'' slowly going away? Will ''kept'', and ''slept'' eventually become ''keeped'' and ''sleeped''? I hope not.

I use ''burned'', ''spelled'', ''spilled'', ''dreamed'', ''leaped'', ''learned'',
''spoiled'', and ''kneeled'' and not ''burnt'', ''spelt'', ''spilt'', ''dreamt'', ''leapt'', ''learnt'', ''spoilt'' and ''knelt''.
Merriam Webster   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 00:49 GMT
I do though use ''burnt'' as an adjective.

Sentence- The burnt toast was burned really badly.
CalifJim   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 03:39 GMT
I think they're going away. But it doesn't bother me!
For the record, I use 'burnt', 'dreamt', and 'knelt' of those you mention in your last sentence. But I would never cry over spilled milk either even if I had spilled it myself. (I'd say 'spilt milk'.)
Dulcinea del Toboso   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 05:31 GMT
No, they must *not* go away! The strong verbs of English are one of the last remnants of the great English tongue that was befouled after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Ryan   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 05:36 GMT
For some reason, the only one of those I use (besides burnt as an adjective) is "dreamt." For some reason it just sounds better that way.
Damian   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 06:23 GMT
"I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls" to quote a song....

I have never said "dreamed" as far as I recall. "I dreamt last night" comes naturally. "I burnt my fingers when I touched the hotplate".

But I would probably say "The house burned fiercely for hours" but "The house was burnt to the ground" so it maybe a matter of tense.
CalifJim   Thursday, July 22, 2004, 01:18 GMT
Dulce, "Befouled???" Now that is funny!!! But seriously, do you think English would have gone anywhere without the influx of all that French? Maybe the French (in the guise of Normans) actually saved English from extinction -- although they did wreck the spelling quite a bit.
Xatufan   Thursday, July 22, 2004, 02:09 GMT
"Last night I dreamt of San Pedro, just like I've never gone, I knew the song..."

U.S. Americans use "dreamed", "learned", etc. in writing. But I've heard that they pronounce "dreamt" rather than "dreamt". Strange...

Personally, I like to write learnt, dreamt, burnt, etc. because that's the way it's written in my favourite book series: "Horrible Science". Beautiful.
Xatufan   Thursday, July 22, 2004, 02:10 GMT
<<U.S. Americans use "dreamed", "learned", etc. in writing. But I've heard that they pronounce "dreamt" rather than "dreamt". >>

Sorry, the second "dreamt" should be "dreamed".
Ryan   Thursday, July 22, 2004, 03:54 GMT
You're right, Xatufan. Wow, that is strange...
Dulcinea del Toboso   Friday, July 23, 2004, 03:28 GMT

Had the Norman's not been victorious, I believe English would have prospered quite nicely with German and Norse roots, much like the Scandinavian languages today.
Anyone   Friday, July 23, 2004, 13:30 GMT
I've always thought of these 't' verbs as "A British Thing."
Dreamt being the one irregular exception you'd hear often over here in the US.
CG   Sunday, July 25, 2004, 15:45 GMT
I agree with Damian about the house burning.
I would say "learned" more often than learnt, and I would not write 'learnt'. I think I write 'spelled', but always say 'spelt' .

I would never say or write spoiled, always spoilt. This is also true for spilt, leapt, crept, and knelt. As for dreamt and dreamed, they are interchangeable to me.
Random Chappie   Sunday, July 25, 2004, 22:53 GMT
I use the "t" endings all the time, in writing and in speech.