Learnt vs. Learned. – What is correct?

TL;DR – In British English, “learnt” is standard, while in American English, “learned” is the preferred spelling.

Especially or Specially

Both “learnt” and “learned” are past tense and past participle forms of the verb “learn.” Their usage, however, can vary based on regional differences and is indicative of the rich varieties of English spoken across the world.


Usage: Predominantly used in American English and parts of North America, including Canada.

Example: I learned Spanish during my summer vacation.


Usage: This form finds its roots in British English and is also prevalent in parts of the English-speaking world outside of North America.

Example: She learnt French before moving to Paris.

In the realm of English grammar, “learn” is one of the irregular verbs that can take different spellings in its past tense and past participle forms. Another example of such variance is “spelt” (British English) versus “spelled” (American English).

Additionally Meanings

“Learned” can serve as an adjective, pronounced as “ler-ned” (with two syllables), denoting “having or showing a lot of knowledge.”


She is a learned scholar in the field of ancient literature.


For English learners and speakers, it’s vital to note these differences when writing. While tools like grammar checkers or indexes like Google’s Ngram might show the predominance of one spelling over the other in various eras or regions, it’s generally a good practice to maintain consistency based on the English variety you’re using. If aiming for MLA, Chicago, APA, or other styles in academic writing, you might find guidelines specifying the preferred spelling.

In today’s digital age, with platforms like LinkedIn connecting professionals worldwide, it’s beneficial to be aware of these subtle differences to cater to global audiences.


  • How to use Learnt and Learned in a sentence?

Published on: 2023-09-30
Updated on: 2024-05-01

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Isaac Adams-Hands

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