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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Spilled or Spilt?

    There is the famous idiom, "Dont cry over spilled/spilt milk."

    My question is, which is correct? Spilled or spilt?

    I was told by an English teacher that 'spilled' was the correct usage of the word. Is this true?

  2. beascarpetta's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    There is the famous idiom, "Dont cry over spilled/spilt milk."

    My question is, which is correct? Spilled or spilt?

    I was told by an English teacher that 'spilled' was the correct usage of the word. Is this true?
    in the UK you might find spilt as well as spilled

    so actually both forms would be correct I guess
    Last edited by beascarpetta; 22-Aug-2008 at 09:09.


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    #3

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by beascarpetta View Post
    in the UK you might find spilt along spilled

    so actually both forms would be correct.
    Yes, it's similar to the verb spell. I had a discussion with an American about whether it should be (as she insisted) "it is spelled incorrectly" or (as I insisted) "it is spelt incorrectly". We agreed to disagree.

    The "ed" form seems more common in the US.

    Here in the UK, I would definately say "spilt milk".

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by beascarpetta View Post
    in the UK you might find spilt as well as spilled

    so actually both forms would be correct I guess
    But as colloquium says, some collocations work better with one form. Here are the first few BNC hits for 'spilled' followed by a noun:

    1 WINE 4
    2 MILK 4
    3 COFFEE 3
    4 WATER 3
    5 PAINT 2
    6 WHISKY 1
    And here are the first few for 'spilt':

    1 MILK 12
    2 BLOOD 6
    3 BEER 6
    4 COFFEE 5
    5 WINE 3
    6 DRINK 2
    7 TEA 2
    8 PINS 2
    9 OIL 2
    10 YOLK 1
    More here: [Davies/BYU] BYU-BNC: British National Corpus

    So they both exist, but collocation is important.

    (Note - some course-books are not very helpful about this. For example, Cutting Edge Upper-Int describes only one, and then gives examples of the other.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 22-Aug-2008 at 17:43.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    Yes, it's similar to the verb spell.
    And "learned/learnt"
    Maybe someone has a list of these variant spellings.

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    #6

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    I'd say most Americans would say "spilt" because we recognize this as a British idiom.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    And "learned/learnt"
    Maybe someone has a list of these variant spellings.
    I'm sure there's one somewhere on the web. Soup?

    My favourite is "proven/proved", which demonstrates strongly the importance of context. 'Proven' is chiefly* used in pharmaceutical adverts! ("Brand X - clinically proven to reduce cholesterol.")

    * Perhaps I'm exaggerating a little.

    b

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    #8

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I'm sure there's one somewhere on the web. Soup?

    My favourite is "proven/proved", which demonstrates strongly the importance of context. 'Proven' is chiefly* used in pharmaceutical adverts! ("Brand X - clinically proven to reduce cholesterol.")

    * Perhaps I'm exaggerating a little.

    b
    I believe that in Scottish law courts there is a verdict of "Not Proven" possible as an alternative to innocent or guilty.

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    #9

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    I'd say most Americans would say "spilt" because we recognize this as a British idiom.
    I think it's because the expression "Don't cry over spilt milk" has been around for so long. I think the expression was in use before the American colonies were formed.



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    #10

    Re: Spilled or Spilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    Yes, it's similar to the verb spell. I had a discussion with an American about whether it should be (as she insisted) "it is spelled incorrectly" or (as I insisted) "it is spelt incorrectly". We agreed to disagree.

    The "ed" form seems more common in the US.

    Here in the UK, I would definately say "spilt milk".
    And I would definitely say "definitely".

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