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Dollywagon
10-21-2006, 11:17 AM
Dreamt always looks such an odd word to me, but should it be-
They had always dreamed, or
They had always dreamt

???

Thanks!

Sandi LeFaucheur
10-21-2006, 02:43 PM
The Collins Dictionary shows them both as the past tense. It has dreamt first, if that means anything.

pianoman5
10-21-2006, 03:52 PM
I've always understood they're totally interchangeable.

'Dreamt' is a bit of a curiosity, because as far as I know it's the only English word ending in -mt.

Bufty
10-21-2006, 05:56 PM
I don't know, but is dreamed less specific than 'dreamt', the former showing a state of mind and the latter identifying what one 'dreamed' about?

I dreamt the walls were falling down

reads better to my eye than - I dreamed the walls were falling down.

They had always dreamed- means simply that - been in a state of dreaming - it doesn't specify what they dreamt. But it would seem acceptable to me if the 'dreaming' was about a future event.

'They had always dreamt' seems right to me, only if followed by 'what' they dreamt.

:Shrug:

Kentuk
10-21-2006, 08:49 PM
Where is the Medevilist when you need her?
My unabridged doesn't have etymology on the word but my guess is dreamt is a Germanic leftover that grammarticians couldn't expunge because people like how it sounds.

Haggis
10-21-2006, 08:53 PM
Where is the Medevilist when you need her?
My unabridged doesn't have etymology on the word but my guess is dreamt is a Germanic leftover that grammarticians couldn't expunge because people like how it sounds.

Could be. I was wondering if it might be a Brit-American difference.

Dollywagon
10-21-2006, 08:55 PM
I'm staying out of it until you lot come to a definitive conclusion:Shrug:

arrowqueen
10-22-2006, 12:39 AM
I think it's pretty much six and half a dozen. Just pick the one you like the best.

allion
10-22-2006, 01:55 AM
It looks like American usage prefers "dreamed" and English prefers "dreamt."

Otherwise, they look interchangeable.

Karen

Lyra Jean
10-22-2006, 06:40 AM
I thought dreamt was a poetry thing and dreamed was a prose thing.

scottVee
10-27-2006, 06:48 AM
Oddly, it feels to me like "dreamt" is the equivalent of "dreamed". As in, "I dreamt the world had ended" creating the same experiential state as "I dreamed that the world had ended."

It's also a poetic throwback. In Scrabble, a few other "-t instead of -ed" endings are allowed, and we get into arguments ...

Vomaxx
10-30-2006, 03:20 AM
Fowler (1st Ed, 1926): "The ordinary past and p.p. is dreamt; dreamed is preferred in poetry and in impressive contexts"

Garner (Modern American Usage): "dream has the past-tense and past-participial forms dreamed and dreamt. In both cases, dreamed is slightly more common in American English, dreamt much more common in British English."

Lance_in_Shanghai
10-31-2006, 05:33 AM
Burnt, dreamt, leant, learnt, smelt, spelt, spilt and spoilt are most common in SBE. Some of these are used in SAE but the -ed forms are more common.

Kudra
10-31-2006, 05:17 PM
I learnt most of my English in India (British English) and London, and I've always used learnt, dreamt, burnt, spelt, etc. I didn't even realize I was using them until my American eds started changing the words to learned, dreamed, burned, spelled, etc.

I think it's a British vs. American English difference. But I could be wrong.