"et" and "sat"

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New Member
Why do many British people say, (1) I "et" my whole meal? (2) referring to the verb sit....I "was sa"t watching T.V. I have an email friend who continues to use these two words. Apart from this, he has an excellent vocabulary. To my knowledge, there is no such word as "et" in referring to the past tense of the verb, to eat. As far as the word, sit, is concerned, it is sit, sitting, sat, have/had sat. I know him well enough now that I have asked him why he uses these two words. He claims they are correct - they are not.

  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Et is a common pronunciation of ate in BrE, quite probably with a regional distribution. I've never seen it written as et - I would say that spelling was incorrect. Regional variations in pronunications, however, are not deemed "correct' or "incorrect" - they are what they are :D

    The usage of sat will also follow regional distributions - for example, to me it sounds quite normal to say the following with a northern England accent "There I was, sat on the step, waiting for the shop to open."

    A belated Welcome to the Forum!
    Last edited:


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    We have discussed the BE SAT construction before: as JS says, this is a northern variety but might sometimes find its way to the media.

    I pronounce ate /et/ but I wouldn't write it as 'et'. My children say /eɪt/ though. Both pronunciations sound normal to me.
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