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I got into an argument about the sentence "Have you overrode SomeThingamajig?"

I thought that "have overrode" is incorrect, and should be "overrode" or "have overridden", or perhaps "did override".

However, I was told that in some contexts, "have overrode" is appropriate.

Is "Have you overrode SomeThingamajig?" correct?

When is is appropriate to say "have overrode"?

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    Never heard that myself, but Wiktionary has some interesting figures. "Overrode is sometimes used as past participle instead of overridden. It seems more common in the US. It seems most common with had, reaching 20% of usage in Usenet with that auxiliary. Less common was use with have and least with has. Usage in edited works seems consistently less than 2% with most auxiliaries, except had where it can approach 5% of usage."
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 18:28
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    @RegDwightАΑA Wonder if that's about as common as "have ate", "have roden", and such.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 18:41
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    What about 'overwritten'? 'overwrote'? Which is the eggcorn?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 18:42
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    @Kendall: What MetaEd only hints at is that "have ate" is indeed grammatical in several US Northeast dialects. Though even there, if I am not mistaken, it is more commonly triggered not by have alone, but rather by coulda/shoulda/woulda, or in negations (i.e. "haven't ate"). We actually have a question on "should have went" with a rather helpful answer by a linguist. So while John Lawler (who is a linguist himself) is certainly 100% correct for Standard English you might wish to check if the folks you are arguing with are from NJ or Long Island.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 21:16
  • "Have overrode" may be appropriate in some minority varieties of English. If the variety allows "have ate", "have went", "have did", or "have saw", then "have overrode" would also be fine. But not in standard English. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 3:21

2 Answers 2

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Override is formed from the irregular verb ride.

The Principal Parts of ride are ride, rode, ridden.

That means the PPs of override are override, overrode, overridden. With me so far?

OK, the first PP in each case is the Infinitive form (to ride, to override).

The second PP is the Past form (They rode it, They overrode it)

The third PP is the Perfect Passive Participle (They have ridden it, They have overridden it).

The Perfect Passive Participle is the verb form that one uses with be in the Passive construction, and -- as here -- with have in the Perfect construction. One does not use the Past Tense verb form with an auxiliary verb in any construction.

Executive Summary: *Was overrode, *has overrode, and *be overrode are all ungrammatical.

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    So, the answers to my questions are "no" and "never"? Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 18:48
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    Yes, I think you could draw those respective conclusions. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 18:59
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    So what @RegDwightAAA mentions in his comment above (about Wikipedia indicating overrode as a possible past participle in certain cases) is totally nonsense? I tend to trust you and grammar books more than Wikipedia, but have you got anything to support your statement?
    – Paola
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 20:25
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    I didn't say it's totally nonsense. It's a regional dialect; these often have variants of irregular forms; and it's a common tendency for all English verbs to have the same forms in Past and Past Participle. All regular verbs do, and so do many irregular verbs (e.g, think, thought, thought; wring, wrung, wrung). Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 21:22
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    You're right, you said that was overrode, has overrode and be overrode are all ungrammatical, it's me who summarized it as totally nonsense. I suppose the meaning is different, but perhaps you have to take into account the fact that foreigners tend to learn what is proper and grammatical, whereas ungrammatical regional forms are usually avoided as not worth bothering with.
    – Paola
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 22:14
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Overrode is correct. Examples are are as follows:

The pain was so intense that it overrode all of the other pain." It didn't "was overrode," or did not "override," it "overrode."

The Supreme Court ruling of 2017 overrode all previous Appellate Court rulings on this subject.

Overrode is the past participle of the irregular verb override, and the same irregular verbs tense of ride, rode, have/has/had overridden.

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    In "The pain was so intense that it overrode all of the other pain," "overrode" is a simple past tense form, not a past participle. The past participle is the form of the verb that is used after "have/has/had" to form the perfect.
    – herisson
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 22:46
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    Most of this answer is very difficult to decipher, but to the extent that it’s understandable, it is incorrect. Overrode is not the past participle of override except in certain dialects. Restricting it to past tense use is highly advisable and certain to avoid anyone thinking it sounds wrong. Commented May 13, 2019 at 15:27

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