What is the difference between Spelled and Spelt?
English language tenses are relatively straightforward compared to other European languages. Although some verbs are regular, there are many irregular ones.
Take for instance, the irregular verb “spell“. Its past tense and past participle are both “spelled” and “spelt“. But how do you know which one to use?
Well, both words are interchangeable. You can choose either one!
Spelt has more than one meaning: it’s a hardy wheat grown mostly in Europe and it’s also the past participle of “spell”. In this case, we’re talking about the verb “spell”, which means to form words letter by letter in the correct sequence and to spell something out i.e. ‘He will spell out the problem again.’
It is chiefly British but had been widely used in American English until the early 1900s when “spelled” became more common.
This spelling of the word is both past tense and past participle.
|Conjugation of to spell|
|Past Simple||Spelled / Spelt|
|Past Participle||Spelled / Spelt|
|3rd person Singular||Spells|
|Present participle / *Gerund||Spelling|
*Gerund: a verb which functions as a noun, in English, ending in ‘-ing’ e.g. ‘asking’ in ‘do you mind my asking you?