Dreamt and dreamed can both be the past tense of the verb dream. Generally, both endings are used in British English, but the ed ending is much more common in American English.
Have you ever dreamed (or dreamt) that English is an uncomplicated, easy-to-learn language?! We hear you, so read on for a straightforward explanation of dreamt versus dreamed.
It’s only within the past 150 years that spellings have been standardized. Fixed rules for spelling didn’t apply before then, and anyone who could write just wrote down how they thought a word sounded. Even now, we can see different spellings of the same word in British and American English.
In British English, we still see both the t and ed endings for the past tense of the verb dream. The ed ending is more commonly used in American English. If you’re writing British English, make your choice and use it consistently. (Shakespeare used both, but consistency in spelling wasn’t a thing back then!)
The Past Tense
The ending of a verb differs depending on whether the verb is telling us that something occurred in the past, is occurring now, or will occur in the future. We can see these different endings in the preceding sentence, with forms of occur.
In English grammar, there are regular and irregular verbs, and the ending a verb takes for the past tense depends on whether the verb is regular (also known as “weak”) or irregular (also known as “strong”).
If you’d like to read more about the past tense and regular and irregular verbs, take a look at our blog post on past participles.
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Some Quotes Using Dreamed in a Sentence
Live the life you’ve dreamed. – Henry David Thoreau
Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed. – Dale Carnegie
For glory gives herself only to those who have always dreamed of her. – Charles de Gaulle
Dreamt and dreamed are past participles of the verb dream.
In American English, dreamed is the more common form.
In British English, dreamt and dreamed are equally acceptable. Just choose one and be consistent.
Your dreams can be interpreted in many ways, and we have no idea what they mean, but we do know how to spell correctly (among other things related to English)! If you’d like one of our experts to check your use of dreamt and dreamed, get in touch!