Dreamed / dreamt

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shane

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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:
 

RonBee

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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.

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Red5

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It's a bit like "heared" and "heard" then?
 

RonBee

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I would consider "heared" nonstandard.

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Tdol

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I think it's just because the 't' is hard to distinguish from a regular ending.

Earned\earnt
 

RonBee

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shane said:
'spelled' and 'spelt'?
'learned' and 'learnt'?

:D

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

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Tdol

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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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