Is It Grew or Grown? Unveiling the Correct Past Tense of Grow

  • Use “grew” as the simple past tense of “grow” to depict past actions or events.
  • Grown” is the past participle that must be paired with an auxiliary verb.
  • Recognizing the context is vital to determine the correct usage of “grew” or “grown.”

Understanding the difference between simple past tense and past participle forms is essential for mastering the verb “grow.” “Grew” is the simple past tense, used to describe something that has happened in the indisputable past. On the other hand, “grown” is the past participle form, which requires an auxiliary verb like “have” or “has,” and illustrates a completed action, often related to the present. It’s crucial to get these forms right, as they are foundational to communicating accurately and effectively in English.

Is it “grew” or “grown”: What’s the correct past tense of “grow”?

“Grew” is the simple past tense form, indicating an action that was completed in the past. “Grown,” on the other hand, is not the past tense but the past participle form, which is used in perfect tenses and usually requires an auxiliary verb.

Let’s look at examples in tabular form for clarity:

TenseExample UseForm
Simple PastYesterday, the plant grew significantly.Grew (past tense)
Present PerfectThe plant has grown since last week.Grown (past participle)

It’s essential to choose the correct form based on the sentence construction:

  • “Grew” is used to describe an event that happened at a specific time in the past.
  • “Grown” is used when the action has relevance to the present or as part of a compound verb structure.
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Here’s a quick reference list highlighting the basic use:

  • Grew:
    • I grew tomatoes in my garden last summer.
    • She grew tired after the long hike.
  • Grown:
    • The tomatoes have grown to a large size.
    • They have grown up so fast!

Difference between the Past Tense vs. the Past Participle of ‘Grow’

When discussing the verb ‘grow,’ it is crucial to distinguish between the simple past tense and the past participle form. These two forms are often confused because they are both derived from the same base verb.

In the simple past tense, ‘grow’ becomes grew. This form is used to describe an action that was completed in the past. It does not require any auxiliary verbs. For example, “Last year, the gardener grew a variety of vegetables.”

The past participle of ‘grow’ is grown. This form is used in perfect tenses and typically requires an auxiliary verb, such as ‘has’ or ‘had.’ It can also serve as an adjective. An example of its use in a sentence would be, “The vegetables have grown well this season.”

Simple Past Tense of ‘Grow’


Past Participle Form of ‘Grow’

Auxiliary VerbPast Participle
  • Examples illustrating the simple past:

    • They grew tired after the long journey.
    • She grew three inches over the summer.
  • Examples using the past participle:

    • He has grown very fond of his new environment.
    • They had grown apart over the years.

In summary, ‘grew’ is used for recounting completed actions in the past, while ‘grown’ is used in conjunction with auxiliary verbs for perfect tenses or as an adjective.

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The Correct Past Tense of ‘Grow’

Selecting the correct past tense of ‘grow’ is crucial for clear communication.

Simple Past Tense of ‘Grow’

The simple past tense of ‘grow’ is grew. This form is used to describe an action that started and was completed at a specific time in the past.

  • Example: Last year, the tree grew significantly.
Simple Present TenseSimple Past Tense

Past Participle Form of ‘Grow’

The past participle form of ‘grow’ is grown. It is used with auxiliary verbs to form the perfect tenses.

  • Example: The flowers have grown since last week.
Past SimplePast Participle

Usage in Different Tenses

Various tenses utilize the past participle ‘grown’ alongside auxiliary verbs to indicate time-based actions.

  • Present Perfect: She has grown her business successfully.
  • Past Perfect: By the time he left, he had grown tired of the routine.
  • Future Perfect: They will have grown apart by next year.

Common Mistakes and Clarifications

Often, English learners mix up ‘grew’ with ‘grown’. Here are some pointers to avoid common mistakes:

  • ‘Grew’ never requires an auxiliary verb; ‘grown’ does.
  • Incorrect: The plant has grew.
  • Correct: The plant has grown.
The plant has grewThe plant has grown
It growed quicklyIt grew quickly

Synonyms of the word ‘grow’

There are various synonyms for ‘grow’, which can enhance vocabulary richness:

  • Develop: The company plans to develop its resources.
  • Expand: Their business expanded rapidly.
  • Flourish: The garden flourished during spring.

When using synonyms, ensure verb tense consistency throughout the sentence.

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Grammatical Structure and Verb Forms

This section elucidates the verb forms and structures associated with the verb “grow,” an irregular verb.

Present and Future Tenses of ‘Grow’

The verb grow has a simple present tense form, grows, and a base form, grow. Here’s how it varies depending on the subject:

  • Singular: He/She/It grows
  • Plural: They grow

When discussing future actions, the future tense form will grow is used:

  • All Subjects: will grow

Continuous and Perfect Continuous Forms

Grow takes different forms when used in the continuous tenses, illustrating ongoing actions.

Present Continuous:

  • He/She/It is growing
  • They are growing

Past Continuous:

  • He/She/It was growing
  • They were growing

Future Continuous:

  • All subjects will be growing

The perfect continuous forms indicate actions that have been ongoing and may continue.

Present Perfect Continuous:

  • Has been growing (singular)
  • Have been growing (plural)

Future Perfect Continuous:

  • Will have been growing

Infinitive and Imperatives of ‘Grow’

The infinitive form of the verb grow is to grow. It is used as the base for many verb structures and can serve various functions in a sentence, such as that of a noun, adjective, or adverb.

For commands, the imperative form is used:

  • Grow! (informal)
  • Let’s grow (suggestive)

Conditional Forms and Usage

Conditional forms express actions that are not guaranteed to happen but are contingent on other factors.

General Conditional:

  • If they grow their investment wisely, they will see profit.

Past Conditional:

  • If they had grown their investment wisely, they would have seen a profit.

Future Conditional:

  • They would grow their investment wisely if they knew the market trends.


Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of grow.” Online Etymology Dictionary

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