Burned vs Burnt

Burnt or Burned – Which is Correct?2 min read

Just like “enquire vs inquire”, two other words that differ in spelling and usage as a result of location are Burnt and Burned. Both are the past tense of Burn but differ in usage in the United States and in the UK.

Burned used to be the only accepted past tense of “burn” but as time went on, people in the United States started adding “t” instead of the “-ed” and it became a norm for them.

As you read through this article, I will explain these two words and help you understand the difference between the two.

Burnt or Burned

Burned Meaning:

It is the past tense of “Burn”. Burn means to set ablaze or to eradicate something unpleasant. The word “burned” came as the addition of “-ed” to the end of the regular verb “burn” explaining something that happened in the past. It is more acceptable in American English as the past tense of burn.

Examples:

  • I burned the slightest proof of the case between Sergeant James and Prof Majju.
  • The only thing that was burned due to the fire outbreak was the wooden chair in front of the iron door.
  • If I get to the United States, I will tell my teacher to spell “Burned” for me.

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Burnt or Burned

Burnt Meaning:

This is more common in different parts of the world apart from the United States. Burnt can serve as an adjective depending on the context of usage. For instance: Burnt Biscuits, Burnt Bread etc.

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Examples:

  • My teacher asked me to do research on burnt umber.
  • OMG, he burnt the entire house down.
  • If burnt is the past tense of burn, can there be a past tense of burnt?

Burnt or Burned– Final tips:

These two words are correct, the only discrepancy is the location of usage. Most writers prefer “burnt” because it’s more popular than the other but in all ramifications, both are correct.

Awesome one, I hope this article on “Burnt or Burned” answered your question.

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