Learnt or Learned?

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I was confused before this whether which is right, learnt or learned? I have an American dictionary installed on my Firefox2.0 – and it always says that I’m wrong when I use the word learnt. I used Google’s define function too to verify it, but it says “No definitions were found for learnt”. I got fed up because the word learnt is widely used in Malaysia and it’s impossible it’s wrong.

After doing some research on AskOxford, I understand that both learnt and learned are correct. Learnt is in British English, while learned is in American English. I personally prefer British English, it looks more brilliant to me. Wondering why there are two types of English language, we in Malaysia are using British English.

Some of other examples that have similar confusion like learnt are burn, dream, kneel, lean, leap, spell, spill, and spoil. There are some other interesting articles at AskOxford like confusion about “email and e-mail” and related stuff. Good site to gain some general knowledge in English language.

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10 thoughts on “Learnt or Learned?

  1. In your learnt or learned page, you wrote in the second paragraph:
    Wondering why they are two types of English language, we in Malaysia are using British English. You were supposed to write: “Why THERE are two types” and not “why they are 2 types”
    Thank you, I find this site fun and stimulating… English is my 4th language, but it is now my best spoken languae, well, most of the time.

  2. Nuka, in your comment you wrote- "but it is now my best spoken languae" which should have been "language". (We should not be pointing at every mistake, because we all make mistakes)

  3. You have made my wife happy with your explanation of the words. For the longest time I have corrected her when she said learnt. I had just broke her of saying this word now she is going to back to saying it.Thanks!

  4. its broken english you can't use learnt in a sentence i.e i learnt how to drive i learnt to talk i learnt to speak grammatical error.

    • Poppycock! Learnt is perfectly good English. If you favour American English then you may prefer learned, but learnt is a legitimate form.

  5. I saw the word "learnt" used in a British newspaper article and searched "learnt" on Google because it has been so long since I've seen it used. I apologize if it is perfectly good British English, I simply want to point out that in America (that is to say, The United States of . . .) speaking the word "learnt" on this side of the pond just might give someone the impression that you are a little backwoods, also known as, country bumpkin, redneck, hillbilly, hayseed, etc. In my opinion, spelling and pronunciation are proper based on locality. If it weren't then we would probably all be speaking one language and that would make the world a little less interesting. All in fun “folks” let's not declare anyone a witch or have someone drawn and quartered for speaking funny.

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