Dived or Dove?

by Craig Shrives

Is the Past Tense "Dived" or "Dove"?

"Dove" and "dived" can be used interchangeably. In other words, writers in the US and the UK are safe to use either as the past form of "to dive." However, to annoy the fewest readers, those following US conventions should use "dove," and those following UK conventions should use "dived."
dived or dove?

More about "Dived" and "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.

A Video Summary

Watch a video showing 10 big differences between British English and American English.

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