I believe that "bitten" – not "bit" – is the correct word in each sentence below. Am I right?

I was bitten by the love bug.

Joe said, "I got bitten by a mosquito."

The dog had bitten me.

I had been bitten by a dog.

closed as off-topic by Bradd Szonye, David M, RyeɃreḁd, anongoodnurse, MetaEd Mar 3 '14 at 17:43

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Bradd Szonye, David M, RyeɃreḁd, anongoodnurse
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    ~1,140,000 results: google.com/… – Kris Mar 1 '14 at 11:58
  • 1
    The past participle in this case is not bitten alone, but bit·ten (bĭt′n) or bit -- thefreedictionary.com/bite – Kris Mar 1 '14 at 12:03
  • @kris But, bitten is perfectly appropriate in all of those situations. – David M Mar 1 '14 at 14:38
  • @DavidM Why not? Both are acceptable. – Kris Mar 2 '14 at 5:41
  • @Kris I never actually stated that bit wasn't acceptable. I merely stated that bitten was acceptable and appropriate. Although I would say that for most speakers of AmE, bitten is preferred. – David M Mar 2 '14 at 5:56

Yes. Bitten is the past participle of bite. Hence, it is appropriate in all of those situations.

Bit is the past tense of bite, but may also be used as the past participle of bite. See reference here. It's use is rare in formal English where bitten is the preferred form. There are dialectal preferences that may govern this decision, though.

  • re: pp., see english.stackexchange.com/questions/154807/… – Kris Mar 1 '14 at 11:57
  • Please see my comment at OP. – Kris Mar 1 '14 at 12:04
  • Although, in some dialects, "bit" is used as well. – nxx Mar 1 '14 at 12:42
  • @nxx I never said it wasn't. I just said bitten was appropriate. – David M Mar 1 '14 at 14:39
  • @David M I know! Just addressing the OP's reference to "bit". Not directed at you in particular. – nxx Mar 1 '14 at 14:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.