Payed or Paid? What should I use?

Especially or Specially

In the English language, determining the correct past tense form of verbs can sometimes be tricky. When it comes to the verb “pay,” the correct past tense and past participle form for most contexts is “paid.”

Paid: This is the standard form to use when referring to the act of making a payment or fulfilling an obligation. It’s an irregular verb, which means its past tense doesn’t follow the regular “-ed” pattern that many verbs in English do. For example: “I’ve just paid the invoice,” or “She paid attention during the lecture,” or even in phrasal verbs like “They paid off their credit card last month.”

Payed: While “payed” might seem like the simple past or past participle form of the verb “pay,” it carries different meanings. Primarily, “payed” is used in nautical contexts, signifying the act of letting out a rope or cable by slackening it. It’s a nautical term that can be found in idioms like “paying out to leeward,” and has its roots in the nautical sense of the word. Another nautical meaning is to cover (a deck or seam) with pitch or tar to make it waterproof. In non-nautical situations, using “payed” would generally be considered a misspelling of “paid.”

So, unless you’re delving into nautical contexts or discussing the application of waterproof material, the correct form to use is “paid.” It’s essential to be aware of such nuances in the English language to ensure clear and accurate communication.


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Published on: 2023-09-30
Updated on: 2023-10-05

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.