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  1. #1
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Dreamed / dreamt

    Someone recently asked me to explain the difference between 'dreamed' and 'dreamt'; and I couldn't tell them!
    My girlfriend was taught in university that there is an obvious difference, but Bartelby.com says this:

    "Dream has long had two sets of Standard past tense and past participle forms, dreamed and dreamt: She dreamed [dreamt] she won the lottery. I had dreamed [dreamt] that I was being pursued. Americans may slightly prefer dreamed and the British dreamt, but both occur frequently in American English. To dream a dream or to dream dreams is Standard and not considered redundant; you can also have dreams. Both verb and noun can combine with either of or about: He dreamed of [about] chocolate bars. She had a dream about [of] falling through space."

    Can anyone shed any light on this matter? :wink:

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Dreamed / dreamt

    In my opinion, they (dreamed, dreamt) are just variant spellings. There may be stylistic reasons for choosing one over the other, but they mean the same thing.

    8)

  3. #3
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    It's a bit like "heared" and "heard" then?
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  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreamed / dreamt

    I would consider "heared" nonstandard.

    8)

  5. #5
    shane is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Dreamed / dreamt

    'spelled' and 'spelt'?
    'learned' and 'learnt'?

    :D

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I think it's just because the 't' is hard to distinguish from a regular ending.

    Earned\earnt

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreamed / dreamt

    Quote Originally Posted by shane
    'spelled' and 'spelt'?
    'learned' and 'learnt'?

    :D
    Those are variant spellings. (I think "learnt" and "spelt" are more common in BE.)

    8)

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Apparently, the -t form was the one until it went to America and mets lots of migrants who couldn't really hear the difference and thought it was regular.

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