In English, there are verbs that have two valid past participles. An example for such a verb would be sow which has the two forms sowed and sown.

Are there English verbs that have more than one valid past tenses?

  • 1
    Are you asking about past participles or past tenses? 'Sowed' is usually described as the simple past tense while 'sown' is the past participle. – Gaston Ümlaut Jul 15 '16 at 4:56
  • I was asking about past tenses. According to dictionary.com, sowed can also be used as the past participle: dictionary.com/browse/sow – zepp.lee Jul 15 '16 at 8:58
  • If you're only asking about past tense forms, why did you cite the participle "sown" in your question? – BillJ Jul 15 '16 at 12:36

kneeled / knelt, chided / chid. Irregular verbs that became regularized.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Also you have regular verbs that have become irregular: dived / dove. – user0721090601 Jul 15 '16 at 5:48
  • @guifa Well, in some dialects, perhaps. Elsewhere, "dive" is still regular. Likewise, "telt" is the p.t. of "tell" in some dialects. Some more irregular verbs where regular forms are also used: strive (strove/strived, striven/strived); thrive, similarly; learn (learnt/learned); spell (spelt/spelled) – Rosie F Jul 17 '16 at 14:20
  • Learned and learnt is an interesting case. There is a red squiggly line under the latter as I type BTW. – vin Jul 17 '16 at 18:18

While the trend seems to be towards the regularization of verbs, some have gone the other way:

The preterite of dig was digged until the 1600s, when it began to change to dug. Some irregular verbs references still retain both forms.

More recently, in some American dialects, we now have snuck (for sneaked) and dove (for dived). Personally, they make me shudder.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.