American English and British English mostly have their differences in spelling, even if the word means exactly the same thing. Learned and learnt is an example of this. Depending on where you are and to whom you’re writing or speaking to, you might decide to use one spelling over the other. But how do you decide which one?
IRREGULAR VERBS: LEARNED
Learned is the only accepted spelling in American English. Did you know that it is considered a verb as well as an adjective, too?
As an adjective learned also means well-educated, knowledgeable. Here are some examples:
- The learned teacher says math is easy, but I strongly disagree.
- When Liz became a learned parent, she became a better mother for David.
- Education will make you a learned person.
As a verb, it is the simple past tense of the verb learn, meaning to gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, by experience, or by being taught. Here are some examples:
- When Joey was young, he learned how to bake a cake.
- Phardz learned not to spend too much money on gambling and cigarettes.
- The parents kept it a secret from Maxine but she learned from the neighbors that she was an adopted child.
Some tips to remember learned is by remembering these rhyming sentences:
- I have learned who burned our house.
- We have learned how the money was earned.
IRREGULAR VERBS: LEARNT
Learnt is the alternative spelling of the verb learned. But remember that learnt is only used in British English. Here are some examples:
- My Father learnt his accent in London.
- Some years ago, I learnt that the guy I liked studied at Cambridge.
It is better to use learned, especially in formal speech and writing Since learnt rhymes with burnt, always remember to avoid it because it might ‘burn‘ you. Grammarly shows us how to correct the wrong past tense of the verb learn.
Were these tips useful in differentiating between learned and learnt? Let us know in the comments!