Pleaded or Pled?

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Pleaded or Pled?

What is the past tense of "to plead"?

The most acceptable past form of "to plead" is "pleaded," but, over time, "pled" has also become acceptable. For example:
  • He pleaded guilty to the charge.
  • ("Pleaded" was the original past form of "to plead.")
  • He pled guilty to the charge.
  • ("Pled" has become an acceptable past form of "to plead.")
pleaded or pled?

More about the Past Tense of "To Plead"

The most acceptable past tense of "to plead" is "pleaded," but, through common usage since the mid-20th century (especially in the US), "pled" has also become acceptable in both the UK and US conventions. [evidence]

If you're looking for the version that will aggravate the least, opt for "pleaded."

"To Plead" Was a Weak, Regular Verb

"To Plead" was originally a weak, regular verb, meaning its past forms were only "pleaded" (past tense) and "has pleaded" (past participle).

However, over time, "to plead" has been treated like a weak, irregular verb, probably because it sounds a lot like "to bleed," the past forms of which are "bled" and "has bled."

Here is "to plead" with some other weak, regular verbs:
Weak VerbSimple Past TensePast ParticipleComment
lovelovedhas lovedregular verb
playplayedhas playedregular verb
pleadpleadedhas pleadedregular verb

Here is "to plead" with some other weak, irregular verbs:
Weak VerbSimple Past TensePast ParticipleComment
telltoldhas toldirregular verb
bleedbledhas bledirregular verb
pleadpledhas pledirregular verb

"Plea" Is the Noun

Of note, the noun is "plea." For example:
  • He pleads guilty by submitting a guilty plea.
  • (In this example, "pleads" is a verb in the present tense and "plea" is a noun.)

What Is a Weak Verb?

A weak verb is one that has a " d" or " t" ending for its simple past tense and past participle.

Read more about weak verbs.

What Is a Regular Verb?

A regular verb is one that typically adds "-ed" or "-d" to the base form to create the past forms.

Read more about regular verbs.
Read more about irregular verbs.
Interactive Exercise
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See Also

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