What is the past tense of pet? It’s a simple question, one you’re sure to answer with confidence. Then doubt creeps into the shadows of your mind. Surely, you know the correct answer. Of course, you know the right answer. Don’t you?
Today, Niki pets her dog. Yesterday, Niki… wait for it… petted her dog.
“No, no, no,” you might say. “The past tense of pet is definitely, ‘pet’!”
To those of you holding strong to your (incorrect) convictions, let me introduce the odd story of a regular verb made irregular. The past tense of “pet” has been “petted” for over 500 years. Fairly recently, “pet” has become regularly used and accepted in informal settings – largely by Americans, rebels that we are; however, in edited text, “petted” holds strong as the correct version.
Something to remember next time you watch another cute cat video on YouTube…
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