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When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”?

It was my understanding that ending verbs with "t" / "nt" in the perfect tense was merely to accommodate irregular verbs

I go

I went


I sleep

I slept


But more and more often I'm hearing people using it (particularly in the media) with verbs that are totally regular.

I learn

I learnt

Which is correct, and why?

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Oct 29 '12 at 19:45

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  • 1
    According to Wiktionary, learnt is used in the UK and is also African American Vernacular (probably a mispronunciation of "learned"). Otherwise learned is the past tense of learn in American English. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Oct 29 '12 at 19:46
  • If the question is an exact duplicate of something, you could post the link to the question of which it is a duplicate. Ah.. here it is: english.stackexchange.com/questions/4965/… – Stumbler Oct 29 '12 at 19:48
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    As regards went, once upon a time you would have wended. And sleeped was once more common than it is today. Whatever - learned/learnt, burned,burnt, etc. have been jockeying for position for centuries - with many speakers spelling the words differently to how they actually pronounce them anyway. – FumbleFingers Oct 29 '12 at 22:34