paid vs. payed

Discussion in 'English Only' started by danissaet, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. danissaet Junior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish -Peru
    Hi everyone:
    I have a doubt about when to use PAID and when PAYED. I have always been used to PAID but a student asked me about this other form, is it a Brittish form or what? Please, help me.
  2. M1991 Junior Member

    Washington DC
    Paid is the correct usage.
  3. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    Both forms are to be found in dictionaries. Paid is certainly more common; at least a Google check indicates this.

    I automatically use paid.

  4. danissaet Junior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish -Peru
    Thanks a lot to both of you.
  5. Nucleara

    Nucleara Senior Member

    Hello : D

    I never thought I would come across this too. Today I found "payed" being used by a girl in a chat forum. I'm sure she's an English native speaker so there's must be some reasons why she used it. As far as I know, at least from what I have heard of, sometimes young people like to use wrong grammars to make it good-looking. In that case I wouldn't be doubtful. But when I found this thread and have known that someone has come across this word (payed) too, I feel unsure again. So, what's going on ?
  6. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

    Payed is now considered obsolete according to some dictionaries. However, it is in the Bible (both as paid and payed!), and may be the reason some still spell it the 'archaic' way.
  7. Nucleara

    Nucleara Senior Member

    So, you mean that it used to be used once in the past ? I mean, used to be correct ? , but now-- no?
  8. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

    Archaic does not mean incorrect. Nevertheless, I would stay with paid simply because it has become the accepted spelling, especially in business.
  9. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I know I'm probably in the minority, but in the expression "to pay a visit", the past tense I would write as payed a visit, I don't know why, but it just seems more natural to me. If the standard accepted form is different, then I guess it's something I am personally at odds with. Every other usage I can think of would be consistent with paid. Maybe the "paid" version seems to much like "purchased/gave money for", so in line with it being a different meaning, my mind has given it the different past tense.
  10. pops91710

    pops91710 Senior Member

    It makes sense. One has a connotation associated with money, and another does not. Good point. :idea:
  11. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    It's paid a visit for me, Alx:).
  12. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Another example I did remember but didn't mention was when it meant to sort of, hmm how do you explain something without using the word itself? "To pay out a line", like when a boat is leaving and it's no longer tied to land. I wasn't going to mention it but when looking in the OED it backed up my suspicion so I decided to mention it.. well it says:

    Inflections: Past tense and past participle paid, (chiefly in nautical senses) payed.

    So I guess that's the usage to be expected in "to pay out a line".
    However, as it's noted that the other paid is also well attested with this usage.
  13. I would advise all students to use paid.

    You will rarely, if ever, be wrong.

  14. Nucleara

    Nucleara Senior Member

    Ah, thank you for your replies: D

    Yes, I will always use "paid" . But I just want to know how it could become "payed" and you all has helped me.

    Thank you so much !
  15. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    This is quite fascinating. I had never encountered "payed" before. I've just checked two of the leading US dictionaries, Random House and American Heritage. They agree: The past tense of pay is paid, with one exception: When the meaning is "to let out a rope or cable by slackening it", you can take your choice; either paid or payed is correct. In all other uses (paid the bill, paid a visit, etc.), "payed" is obsolete, hence incorrect in contemporary usage.
  16. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Most readers would consider "payed" to be an error. While it may have been used at an earlier time in history, and the English language doesn't have a central body that can decree "this is no longer correct," to me that's enough of a reason not to use it.
  17. candy-grammer New Member

    English - USA
    I know I am relatively late to this thread, but to provide some context for the ambiguity, in French, the verb to pay is "Payer." It is one of the few verbs that can be conjugated as "paie" or "paye" in the present tense, and is still fully accepted either way. Though I have no official proof that this option is a reason for the ambiguity in English, but I find it rather likely, based on the verbs being cognates, that this is the source of the uncertainty in English.

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