Dived or Dove?

by Craig Shrives

Dived or Dove?

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?

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.

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? Ms., Miss, or Mrs? 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