How would you use disproven in a sentence please? Is disproven interchangeable with disproved?

  • Disproven is past participle, while disproved is past tense. As adjectives both work in the same way as any other vpt/vpp -- proven technology, not proved technology.
    – Kris
    Jul 2, 2015 at 8:01
  • 'Using activity A is a disproven method of ___ ...' or 'Using activity A as a method of ___ was disproved by...'. As Kris mentions, disproven is an adjective to describe something that has been disproved, whereas disprove is the verb to prove something is false.
    – nickson104
    Jul 2, 2015 at 8:51
  • See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/68380/…
    – anemone
    Jul 2, 2015 at 9:02
  • 1
    The past participle of prove is either proved or proven. Both are used.
    – WS2
    Jul 2, 2015 at 9:06
  • Also very much on point: What is the difference between 'proven' and 'proved'?
    – Sven Yargs
    Jul 2, 2015 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


There are really two issues here.

The past participle as adjective (as in a proven technology) indicates a general condition. The past tense is also used as an adjective (a proved technology) in a specific case.

On the other hand, AmE has progressively been dropping/ deprecating the past participle, preferring the past tense for both the purposes. This is across verbs, not for prove alone, or for that matter, in case of adjective use alone.

Grammatically both are correct and acceptable. (Though I cannot imagine any practical use for disproven per se, though proven is very handy.) They have their uses as noted above. Both can be found in literature, with increasing use in AmE writing of the pp where the pt would be expected.

  • Proved is an alternative to proven as the past participle of prove. It is not normal in any variety of English I am aware of to use the past tense of verbs adjectivally (though of course in many verbs the past tense and the past participle are the same). There are a number of verbs where some dialects have a non-standard past participle (eg writ) sometimes of the same form as the past (eg shook, broke) but I don't think there's any evidence that this is a trend which is progressing.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 3, 2015 at 9:52
  • "to use the past tense of verbs adjectivally (where the pp is distinct from pt)": There are uses for it. My answer has briefly dealt with the difference.
    – Kris
    Jul 3, 2015 at 9:59
  • See also: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Kris
    Jul 3, 2015 at 10:02
  • 1
    Your post has given no examples or references for the phenomenon you claim. I claim that your analysis is based on a mistake, viz that proved is only past and not pp.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 3, 2015 at 10:29
  • @ColinFine You could save so much effort if only you read my answer one more time at leisure. And (if so) avoid down voting on impulse.
    – Kris
    Jul 7, 2015 at 12:24

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