Discussion in 'English Only' started by voonli24, Apr 9, 2008.
What is the past tense of dream?
Last night I dreamt or dreamed about ....
Or BOTH - perhaps "dreamt" is more poetic...perhaps.
Yes, both. Dreamt does have a certain literary ring, although I would still use it in everyday speech.
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again" is, incidentally, one of the most famous first lines in English literature (from Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier).
I tend to agree with TimLA: both are correct, but I think "dreamed" is more commonly used in ordinary conversation, but "dreamt" is considered to be a bit more poetic.
Personally, I always use "dreamt" - in all contexts.
To me, "dreamed" sounds like "meaned" (instead of "meant").
I would also tend to use "dreamt"; I can't think of any circumstances in which I would prefer "dreamed". Apart from anything, I like the sound of it better! Also, I helped my table win at a quiz night once by miraculously pulling from the ether the fact that dreamt is the one English word that ends in "mt", so I have extra affection for the word.
I use both, but always use "leapt" rather than "leaped".
I agree with others who say that both forms are correct, and it is simply a matter of style/habit as to which we use.
I use dreamt.
The difference is probably regional.
Similar examples are:
Yep, both are correct. But I'm another voter in favour of dreamt (leapt, spelt, knelt etc.)
I believe dreamed/dreamt is simply regional within the US. On the other hand, I associate learnt and spilts solely with BE.
1. Are we clear that they are pronounced differently? My view is that they are, as the spelling suggests.
2. I don't think that dreamt is necessarily more poetic and literary. After Anthony dies, Shakespeare gives Cleopatra a great speech which starts:
I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony:--
O, such another sleep, that I might see
But such another man!
It may be that I'm just used to it like that, but it wouldn't be the same at all for me with dreamt for dream'd - the apostrophe is just to stop anyone being tempted to give the word two syllables.
Separate names with a comma.