This list of verbs given at English for students.com shows that some verbs, as to blend (blent/blended), to broadcast (broadcast/broadcasted), to bide (bode/bided),... have irregular and regular past forms at the same time.

In this kind of situation, which form is preferred, if any?

The two forms make me confused and I cannot decide in the following options:

  1. They are completely interchangeable and one can use any of these forms without any second thought.
  2. The irregular form is the correct one, but most people don't know it and use the incorrect regular form. One should use the irregular form.
  3. The irregular form is the correct one, but almost no one is aware of it and most people use the incorrect regular form. Using the irregular form should be avoided, as it could be seen as pedantic.
  4. The irregular form is a fake irregular form, coming from the irregular form of another verb. For example, the past form of belay has always been belayed but people use belaid in imitation to lay/laid.
  5. The irregular form is an archaism. The regular form is the new, universally agreed form.

Note that these cases are not mutually exclusive.

If the question needs more context to be answerable, I am interested in the case of a formal writing (a letter of recommendation in the case at hand) in American or British English. The word I am trying to use is to blent in in past form. But I am interested in a general guideline too.

  • 2
    It completely depends on which verb you mean. For blent I would not use it. Others vary.
    – tchrist
    Oct 17, 2016 at 4:35
  • I quote the Wikipedia page for such irregular verbs: In many cases, such as spell (spelt vs. spelled), learn (learnt vs. learned), and spill (spilt vs. spilled), American English normally uses the regular form, while British English tends to favor the irregular. In other cases, such as dive (dived vs. dove) and sneak (sneaked vs. snuck), the opposite is true. Australian, New Zealand and South African English tend to follow the British practice, while Canadian English often sides with the American usage. Oct 17, 2016 at 6:14
  • @BladorthinTheGrey: I should have thought about Wikipedia! You should put this as an answer.
    – Taladris
    Oct 17, 2016 at 6:24
  • 1
    What should I do with my question? Change it to a "blent or blended" question? Or wouldn't an answer like "there is no general rule or guideline" be of some use. I don't know the rules here but some SE sites accept "there is no definite answers to the OP" answers.
    – Taladris
    Oct 17, 2016 at 12:03
  • 1
    @Taladris: The nearest thing there is to a "general rule" is that irregular verbs tend to become regularised. In the case of blent, that usage shift occurred long ago (it's now unquestionably obsolete). With learnt and dreamt, for example, some of us [sometimes] still follow the old ways, but they're definitely dying out. Oct 17, 2016 at 13:02


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