The English language spoken in other parts of the world is borrowed from the UK, as the language is native to this country.

You will find different word variants used in North America from those used in the UK. Therefore, you may encounter the use of the word “learn-ed” instead of “learned.”

So, why do some people in the UK say “learn-ed” instead of “learned? Learnt and learned are past participle and past tense of the verb to learn.

These are differences and similarities between learn-ed, learned, and learnt, and how they are used in everyday conversation.

Is It Learned Or Learnt In British English?

Learned and learnt have the same meaning and are used similarly worldwide, but there is a small difference between the words.

They are the past participle and past tense of the verb ‘to learn. For instance, learnt is the favored word in Britain, but learned is widely used in the US and Canada.

Therefore since both words are correct, when writing an article, it may be best to stick with the same spelling throughout the writing, no matter which you choose.

However, learned might be used as an adjective describing a knowledgeable, well-read person or having a strong educational background.

However, the adjective learned is pronounced differently from the past participle learned. The adjective learned is used globally to describe a knowledgeable person.

Therefore learned as an adjective is used in American and Canadian English and has a different pronunciation from learned as a past participle and past tense

When Did Learned Become Learnt?

The spelling ‘learned’ was used in English writing since AD 1500 in the US and UK, but ‘learnt’ spelling became popular around 1575.

Although the word is not popular in the US, readers will understand its context when you use it in writing. However, the word gained more popularity in the UK and is used now more than the original learned.

Learned was the correct spelling for the word, and its use spread to the US and Canada. The first settlers in these countries still used learned in their daily conversation, which is the formal spelling.

However, British English was inclined towards ‘learnt,’ the new spelling used throughout the UK. The spelling of the English words follows a pattern and changes for regular and irregular words.

The changes occur due to naturalization, and the fast the word becomes naturalized depends on the frequency of use.

How Learned Is Spelled In American English?

Learned is the most accepted of the past tense and past participle in American and Canadian English.

Although you will know it as the correct spelling, you may stare at the word, wondering if it is correct.

Learned is grammatically correct and most preferred by Americans and Canadians and is growing in popularity in other English-speaking nations.

Therefore when writing an article for an American publication, it is better to use learned. You may interchange the words, especially if you are used to UK English.

It is better to set your browser to American English as it corrects the word and other words with different spellings in American and British English.

Since Americans and Canadians mostly use learned, when writers native to these regions write, they prefer the word’s spelling.

Thus, these writers should set their browsers to British English to correct the spelling.

In Australia, Is Learned Or Learnt?

Australian English is similar to British English as the European settlers moved to the continent in the 1700s to 1800s.

There were no setters as early as the 1500s as the continent was considered hostile to human life; thus, the English language did not spread to this part of the world.

Since the continent speaks a language similar to British English, its citizens use ‘learnt’ instead of ‘learned’ the formal speech.

However, they still consider ‘learned’ as correct spelling but rarely use it in spoken and written English.


English is an interesting global language that brings people close. It is the most spread language due to colonization and social interactions over the centuries.

These social interactions make a difference in the spelling and pronunciation of words. For instance, ‘learned and ‘learnt’ have the same meaning but different spelling.

Learned is the most accepted spelling in America and Canada, while ‘learnt’ is the most accepted spelling in Britain and Australia.

You should use the most accepted spelling form when addressing an audience from either of these countries.

Similar Posts