Dived or Dove?

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
Is the past tense of to dive, dived or dove?

Dove and dived can be used interchangeably. However, to annoy the fewest readers, those following US conventions should use dove, and those following UK conventions should use dived.

Dived or Dove?

The words dived and dove can be used interchangeably as the past tense and past participle of the verb to dive. So, the bottom line is that you cannot make a mistake by using one of these words instead of the other.

Dived Is More Traditional Than Dove

Dived is the traditional past tense and past participle of to dive, but dove has crept in over the last two centuries — particularly in the US. This is probably a result of the verb to drive (with its past tense drove) becoming more common.

Dove for Americans. Dived for Brits

While there is no clear delineation, dove tends to be used by those following US conventions, and dived tends to be used by those following UK conventions.

Pick the Version That Will Annoy the Fewest Readers

So, to annoy the fewest readers possible, you should use dove if those around you follow US conventions but dived if they follow UK conventions.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? hanged and hung imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What is the past tense? What are past participles? What are verbs? What are regular verbs? What are irregular verbs? List of easily confused words