burnt/burned

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Ronidemian

New Member
Chilean Spanish
Hi everybody...I need your wisdom to enlight me...once again XD

I understand (and I'm aware that I might as well be completely wrong) that I can use both: BURNT and BURNED; the questions are: 1. Am I wrong?, 2. When is it correct to use either of them?

Thank you very much!!
 
  • Albius

    Member
    Spanish (México)
    Burnt is more used to describe something that was burned. Ex: My skin was burnt by the sun.
    Burned is the past tense of the verb Burn. It is used when you are trying to say that you burned something. Ex: I burned my toast.
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree with Agró, and I don't know if what I'm going to say is applicable to all examples, but on the forum I've observed that with verbs that can either be regular or irregular ending in "t" in the past and past participle, Americans tend to use the regular form more (I don't know if there are regional differences), while the British go for the ending in "t". Another example would be learned/learnt, and though I can't bring them to mind now, there are more.
    So if my theory is right, an American would be more likely to say "I've burned the pork chops", while a Brit would say "I've burnt the pork chops". These examples give the verbal use of "burn".
    What I do have my doubts about, is whether an American would use "burnt" as an attributive or predicative adjective (eg: The chops are burnt/They served us burnt chops). I'd be interested to know.
    EDIT: I crossed posts with Albius. His comment seems to support the "purely-verb vs adjective" theory, but I'm still not sure.
     

    luo.mai

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Americans would say:
    "I burned the toast." ("Burned" as verb)
    "This toast is burnt." ("Burnt" as adjective.)

    Americans (at least where I'm from) never use "leant", "learnt", "smelt", "spelt", "spilt", or "spoilt".
    (N.B. There is the verb "to smelt", referring to metallurgy, but we don't use "smelt" for the past tense/participle of "smell".)

    I do use "dreamt"; some people prefer "dreamed". (I would say: "I had a strange dream last night. I dreamt I was…")
     
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