I recently got corrected on another community on this platform. I wrote: "An email I had wrote to her", and it was courteously changed to "I had written to her" which still makes sense, however, I want to ask if the former is not grammatically correct and if these are simply two phrases that mean different things.

Question Is "An email I had wrote to her" ever correct English? Is it bad English totally or there are instances it may be used.

I'm thinking it would be valid when I refer to the time in the past, where the action was already past tense.

English is not my mother tongue, but I'm not necessarily learning English anew, so I wasn't sure whether to post in the other English community.

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  • 1
    Had wrote is never correct. A perfect is constructed with the past participle, written. – StoneyB Jun 28 '16 at 14:01
  • @Rathony Thanks for that "I" correction. I need to keep that always in mind. – Pilling Fine Jun 28 '16 at 16:00

The simple past form "wrote" must stand alone. If you combine it with a word like "had" it does need to change to the form "written."


  • Ok, It becomes redundant to put "had" and "wrote" besides each other. – Pilling Fine Jun 28 '16 at 16:11

Using the simple past as the past participle is not uncommon in some regional and other vernacular forms of English. It's not generally treated as correct outside those cases, though they're widespread and have a long history.

Finding examples is tricky, but they're spread from the Appalachians to various regions of Britain (specific examples in West Country, London, Geordie...). "I've ate" instead of "I've eaten" is a more common example.

  • Whatever people's speech is, is fine and dandy. But if one is asking about "educated register" and written English in that register, it is not fine. – Lambie Jun 28 '16 at 19:57
  • 1
    Back in the 18th century, the past participle of to write wasn't yet fixed. See Ngram. And compare to take. – Peter Shor Jun 28 '16 at 20:00
  • @Lambie, if one is asking... – Chris H Jun 28 '16 at 20:24
  • @Lambie, Wowow, brightly leading the way of classism and academese. – Pacerier Apr 14 '18 at 16:52
  • In a few more years, the irregular past participles will have disappeared. I hear the dumb talking heads say shite (that's Irish, by the way [joke] like: He would have went; they should have went; they might have spoke, etc. How people speak, warts and all is G-R-E-A-T, but please do not present yourself on TV as some kind of guru, political or otherwise, if you don't speak standard English. Their suits cost a bundle, but you truly cannot put lipstick on these boars. [yes, boars] – Lambie Apr 14 '18 at 16:58

Wrote is only a past simple of write, whereas written(correct) is the past participle.

Participle is an adjective so in this case it describes the pronoun "I"

  • Participle could function as an adjective sometimes, but it is incorrect to say "Participle is an adjective so in this case it describes the pronoun "I"." – user140086 Jun 28 '16 at 14:51
  • I would have given you answer, if the last bit wasn't controversial. :), Hope I'm not making a mistake! Thanks! – Pilling Fine Jun 28 '16 at 17:00

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