Should You Use Learnt Or Learned?

Many aspects of the English language can create challenges, such as its many distinct intricacies and indistinguishable differences. Regardless, learning the differences and uses for these challenging words and phrases is important and rewarding. Keep on reading to learn about the similarities, differences, and correct uses of the words learnt and learned.

Learnt V.S. Learned 

In reality, both learnt and learned are correct past participle and past tense versions of the word learn to clear up the air. In the English language, they are pretty much interchangeable. However, there is one small difference in usage geographically. In general, more people use learned in the United States and Canada, while in the United Kingdom, learnt is the more popular version. 

With these distinct similarities and usage differences, you should use whatever sounds best. However, when you are using these, make sure to stick to one spelling to make your writing have good continuity. 

Exceptions To Using Learned

You may find sentences in which learned is used as an adjective in a sentence. This shows how learned can act as an adjective to describe someone knowledgeable and smart! In these situations, learned and learnt are not interchangeable, and there are distinct differences in how you pronounce them. For instance, read aloud the following sentences to see the pronunciation differences between these words: 

I had fun in school today; I learned about cellular biology. 

I had fun today; I learnt about cellular biology. 

She is the most learned student in the classroom. 

There you have it! Although it may be confusing, there are clear and definite rules to using learned and learnt in your writing. But don’t worry, in the end, as long as you pick one and stick to it, you’ll be a writing dynamo!

Related: check out this section on similar sounding words.


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