So to start things off, I know that the proper past tense of the word arrive would be the word arrived.

And that sounds fine for me if you are singularly referring to yourself, such as:

I have arrived at my home.

But when I try to use the word to refer to a group of people, such as:

We have arrived at our home.

It just peeves me for some reason. It feels more natural to say:

We arrove at our home.

Or even:

We have arriven at our home.

They both feel far more natural to me than arrived does for some reason. Wiktionary lists arrove as a non-standard alternative to arrived, which indicates that at least some other people have felt the same way. How frequently are arrove or arriven used? What region(s) does this dialect belong to?

Me from the future: To anyone interested, I have discovered that Google Docs recognizes 'arriven' as a word but not 'arrove'

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    Have you checked a dictionary? That's a good first step.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 12, 2017 at 22:47
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    @sumelic it isn't that the question is opinion based, I merely used the wrong word. Rather than questioning the validity of the words I actually meant to ask about the frequency of usage (if at all). Apr 12, 2017 at 23:02
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    I don't know if the existence of the Google Ngram viewer means this question should be considered closed. It is a useful tool, but maybe you could edit the question to also ask about the geographical distribution of these forms. As far as I know, the Ngram Viewer can only show differences between US and British usage in its corpora; it can't show any more finely grained regional differences or, as Janus Bahs Jacquet said, spoken frequency.
    – herisson
    Apr 12, 2017 at 23:31
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    @JanusBahsJacquet: "Be" and "done" are I believe often leveled in favor of the past-participle form: "I been" and "I done it." There may be specialized meanings to the use of past-participle or preterite form for the finite past tense (e.g. I think "I been" contrasts with "I was" in (some forms of?) AAVE, and I think I've heard of a lexical verb/auxiliary contrast between "I done" and "I did": even people who say "I done it" will say "Did you do it?").
    – herisson
    Apr 12, 2017 at 23:34
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    The Ngram for arrove and arriven shows much more common use pre-1900, then a sharp drop-off, with arrove far more common than arriven. "We arrove" is beginning to sound natural to me. I agree it's only one tool; but you can look at the specific texts.
    – Xanne
    Apr 12, 2017 at 23:43

4 Answers 4



According to OED, these forms did exist (not necessarily with your spelling), as it mentions in its entry for arrive (v):

In 14–15th cent. occas. aphetized to rive; and inflected after strong verbs, with past tense arove (rove, arofe), past participle ariven (aryven).

This is historical (so I'm not sure why Wiktionary lists arrove).

OED gives this example:

His nauye greate..In Thamis aroue.
1470 J. Hardyng Chron. xlii

The Middle English Dictionary gives other examples:

Ascalus & Alacus auntrid to lond, And aryuen full rad with þere rank shippes.
c1540(?a1400) Destr.Troy (Htrn 388) 5792

But he ne koude arryuen in no coost Where as he myghte fynde..Two creatures acordyng in feere.
(c1395) Chaucer CT.WB.(Manly-Rickert)

The 1830 Book of Mormon uses "arriven" at least four times, e.g:

And again: They were wroth with him, when they had arriven to the promised land, because they said that he had taken the ruling of the people out of their hands; and they sought to kill him.


"Up-State New York":

Arrove for arrived appears to be an analogous form based on some word like dive-dove.
The Dialect of Up-State New York: A Study of the Folk-Speech in Two Works of Marietta Holley

Smokey Mountain English:

Irregular verbs may be treated as regular verbs and vice versa, or they may be treated as irregular in a different way from more general dialects (arrove, blowed, costed).
American English

  • 1
    +1, but neither of your two MED citations is a past participle: the first is a plural simple past and the second is an infinitive. The reduction to rive is significant: rove and riven are the past and past participle of rive, so there's extra pressure for analogical regularization there. Apr 13, 2017 at 0:38
  • I thought "arrove" sounded normal. I grew up in up-state New York. :-)
    – fixer1234
    May 7, 2017 at 4:26

Historical Linguistics: An Introduction by Lyle Campbell (MIT Press, 2013) (originally published in 1988) suggests these forms are developing or are naturally generated:

Analogical extension (somewhat rarer than analogical levelling) extends the already existing alternation of some pattern to new forms which did not formerly undergo the alternation. An example of analogical extension is seen in the case mentioned above of dived being replaced by dove on analogy with the 'strong' verb pattern as in drive/drove, ride/rode and so on, an extension of the alternating pattern of the strong verbs. Other examples follow.

(I) Modern English wear/wore, which is now in the strong verb pattern, was historically a weak verb which changed by extension of the strong verb pattern, as seen in earlier English werede ' wore', which would have become modem weared if it had survived.

(2) Other examples in English include the development of the nonstandard past tense forms which show extension to the strong verb pattern which creates alternations that formerly were not there, as in: arrive/arrove (Standard English arrive/arrived), and squeeze/squoze (Standard squeeze/squeezed).

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    Certainly where I live (Northern England), 'Squoze' is in fairly common usage, although I suspect this is more of a cute colloquialism, rather than realising it might actually be correct.
    – Neil
    Apr 13, 2017 at 11:35

They used to be more popular than they are now (but "arrived" has always been at least 100x as common).

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the graph--how did you get it copied/posted?
    – Xanne
    Apr 13, 2017 at 0:30
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    I copied it pixel by pixel. (PrtSc + Paint + a lot of cursing)
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 13, 2017 at 0:40
  • Save to file, then use the file in your answer.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 13, 2017 at 0:45
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    I'm looking at the ngrams and "arrived" isn't just 100x more popular, it's closer to 100,000x for most of the duration, and the closest I see is 1870, where it's almost 10,000x. Both of the "alternates" are a rounding error at best.
    – Kevin
    Apr 13, 2017 at 3:37
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    @Kevin - Yeah, I didn't try to work it out, but when I added "arrived" to the chart the other words tuned into flat lines on the bottom axis. But the words are common enough to not be simply OCR errors and the like.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 13, 2017 at 11:53

Raised in Wisconsin, I use "arrove" and "arriven", regularly. I think probably by analogy with dive/dove, drive/drove, ride/rode, but, regardless, "arrived" sounds unnatural, especially for the simple past/preterite...


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