Put or Putted: Understanding the Correct Past Tense of “Put”

  • “Put” is an irregular verb with the same form in both present and past tense.
  • The past tense of “put” is not “putted,” but simply “put.”
  • Knowing the correct past tense form is essential for accurate communication.

Understanding the correct past tense form of “put” is crucial, as it not only enhances one’s grammar but also polishes one’s writing and speaking skills. Unlike regular verbs that follow a predictable pattern, “put” is an irregular verb and maintains the same form in both the present and the past tense. Knowing the right form to use is important to maintain the integrity of the language and to avoid common mistakes.

Put or Putted – What’s the Past Tense of Put?

When discussing the past tense of the verb “put,” it’s essential to understand that English verbs can follow regular or irregular conjugation rules. The verb “put” is categorized as an irregular verb. This means that it does not follow the regular conjugation pattern where verbs end with “-ed” in their past tense forms.

The table below shows the conjugation of “put” in the present, past, and past participle forms:

TenseVerb Form
Past Participleput

Many learners might assume that adding an “-ed” to form the past tense is correct, leading to the incorrect form “putted.” However, the past tense of “put” is the same as the present tense – “put.”

Consider the following examples highlighting the correct use of “put” in sentences:

  • Present: “I put the book on the table every morning.”
  • Past: “Yesterday, she put the book on the table.”

Another important aspect is the pronunciation of “put.” Despite its spelling, “put” follows the same pronunciation in both the present and past tense:


The uniformity in conjugation and pronunciation simplifies the learning process, ensuring a straightforward approach to using the verb in various sentences. Here are some bullet points to remember:

  • “Put” is an irregular verb.
  • The past tense of “put” is put.
  • The past participle form is also “put.”
  • Do not use “putted”; it is incorrect for the verb “put.”

Exploring the Verb ‘Put’

The English language features a variety of verbs that perform essential functions in sentence construction. Among these, the verb ‘put’ stands out due to its widespread use and its irregular properties. This section will focus on its definition, usage, and grammatical properties.

Definition and Usage

‘Put’ is a verb that conveys the action of moving or placing something in a specific location. The following points highlight key aspects of its usage:

  • Present tense: “I put the book on the table.”
  • Infinitive form: “To put away toys.”
  • Past tense: Despite its irregular nature, ‘put’ remains unchanged as “I put” in past form.
  • Past participle: Similarly to the past tense, the past participle is “have put.”
Present perfecthave put

Grammatical Properties

‘Put’ exhibits characteristics of an irregular verb, as it does not follow standard verb conjugation patterns. It maintains the same form across the base, past, present participle, and past participle forms. The verb ‘be’ and ‘have’ are often used with ‘put’ to form compound verb structures.

  • Base form: “To put something down.”
  • Past form: “Yesterday, she put her keys on the counter.”
  • Present participle: “She is putting groceries away.”

The grammatical properties allow ‘put’ to maintain a straightforward usage pattern, irrespective of tense. Its involvement with helping verbs like ‘be’ and ‘have’ results in these forms:

Verb formExample Sentence
Base form/infinitive“To put the plan into action takes courage.”
Past form“He put the car in the garage last night.”
Present participle“They are putting up decorations for the party.”
Past participle“She has put aside some money for the trip.”

Past Tense Formulation with ‘Put’

In English grammar, the verb “put” is irregular. Accordingly, its past tense form deviates from the standard pattern followed by regular verbs. The simple past tense and past perfect tense applications of “put” showcase these irregularities. Understanding and appropriately using these forms are essential for proficient language use.

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Simple Past Tense

The simple past tense of “put” remains unchanged from its base form. Unlike regular verbs that add ‘-ed’ to form the past tense, “put” is an exception.

  • Base form: put
  • Simple past tense: put
  • Past participle form: put


  • Yesterday, she put the book on the table.
  • They put their worries aside and enjoyed the evening.

Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense of “put” also uses the same form as the base and the simple past tense. This tense indicates an action that was completed before another action or time in the past.

  • Past perfect tense: had put


  • By the time we arrived, he had already put the keys in a safe place.
  • They realized they had put too much trust in the flawed plan.

Present Tense Structures with ‘Put’

The verb “put” in the present tense is commonly used to describe an action that is currently happening or a habitual event. It is an irregular verb that remains the same across present tense forms, exhibiting unique simplicity within English verb conjugations.

Simple Present

In the simple present tense, the verb “put” is used to describe actions that are habitual or generally true.

  • Examples of Simple Present with ‘Put’:
    • He puts the keys on the table every morning.
    • She puts effort into her work daily.

Present Continuous

The present continuous form of ‘put’ is made up of the present participle “putting,” indicating an action that is currently in progress.

SubjectAuxiliary VerbPresent Participle
  • Examples of Present Continuous with ‘Put’:
    • They are putting together a puzzle right now.
    • She is putting up decorations for the party.

In both the simple present and present continuous, the base verb “put” reflects a condition or action relevant to the present or currently taking place, whether as a habitual fact or as an ongoing process.

Future Tense Conjugations with ‘Put’

In English grammar, the future tense of a verb represents an action that will happen at a later time. When discussing the verb “to put,” the future tense forms are essential to convey intentions or planned actions. Specifically, we will look at the simple future and future perfect forms of “to put.”

Simple Future

The simple future tense is used to describe actions that will take place at a later time. Here’s how “to put” is conjugated in the simple future tense:

  • I will put
  • You will put
  • He/she/it will put
  • We will put
  • You will put
  • They will put


  • She will put the book on the shelf tomorrow.

Future Perfect

The future perfect tense describes an action that will be completed before another action or time in the future. The future perfect tense of “to put” is formed with “will have” followed by the past participle “put”:

  • I will have put
  • You will have put
  • He/she/it will have put
  • We will have put
  • You will have put
  • They will have put
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  • They will have put the finishing touches on the project by the end of the week.

Verb Tenses in English with ‘Put’

The verb “put” is an irregular verb in English, which means its past tense and past participle forms do not follow the standard patterns of regular verbs. This section will discuss how “put” is used within various English verb tenses, focusing on the perfect and progressive tenses.

Perfect Tenses

Present Perfect: The present perfect tense is constructed with “have” or “has” plus the past participle of the verb. Since “put” is its own past participle, sentences in the present perfect will take the form of “has put” or “have put.”

  • Examples:
    • They have put the books on the shelf.
    • She has put away her toys.

Past Perfect: The past perfect, indicating an action completed before another action in the past, uses “had” and the past participle of “put.”

  • Examples:
    • They had put the car in the garage before the storm started.
    • By the time you arrived, I had put the documents in the safe.

Future Perfect: Future perfect tense predicts that something will have been completed by a certain point in the future. It is formed by using “will have” followed by the past participle.

  • Examples:
    • By tomorrow, they will have put the new policy into effect.
    • She will have put the kids to bed by the time the movie starts.

Progressive Tenses

Present Progressive: The present progressive tense indicates an action currently in progress. It is formed with “is,” “am,” or “are” and the present participle “putting.”

  • Examples:
    • They are putting up the decorations now.
    • He is putting the final touches on the cake.

Past Progressive: The past progressive tense describes an action that was ongoing in the past. This tense uses “was” or “were” with the present participle “putting.”

  • Examples:
    • They were putting on the play when the lights went out.
    • She was putting together the report when the computer crashed.

Future Progressive: This tense projects an ongoing action in the future, constructed with “will be” and the present participle “putting.”

  • Examples:
    • They will be putting the house on the market next week.
    • Tomorrow at this time, he will be putting his training into practice.

The English verb “put” demonstrates how irregular verbs function within perfect and progressive tenses. Using the proper constructions allows clear communication regarding when actions take place relative to each other in time.

Tense Usage and Examples with ‘Put’

The verb “put” is an irregular verb in the English language, which means that it does not follow the standard patterns of conjugation. In this section, we will explore the correct use of “put” in various verb tenses, providing practical examples to illustrate its usage.

Practical Examples

Simple Past Tense:

  • He put the book on the shelf yesterday.
  • They put their trust in her last week.

Present Perfect Tense:

  • She has put away her clothes.
  • We have put out the fire.

Past Perfect Tense:

  • By the time we arrived, they had already put up the decorations.

Progressive Tense:

  • I am putting the toys away.
Verb TenseExample
Simple PastShe put the key in her pocket.
Present PerfectThey have put the matter to rest.
Past PerfectHe had put the documents in the safe before the alarm went off.
ProgressiveThey are putting on a concert next week.

Irregular Forms and Regular Conjugation

Regular Verbs:

  • Talk becomes talked in the simple past tense.
  • Walk becomes walked in the simple past tense.
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Irregular Verb – Put:
“Put” remains the same across present, past, and past participle forms. It does not take on the regular ‘-ed’ ending that is typical for the simple past tense and past participle in regular verbs.

VerbSimple PastPast ParticiplePresent Participle
Regular Verb (e.g., talk)talkedtalkedtalking
Irregular Verb (e.g., put)putputputting

Usage of Regular and Irregular Forms:

  • Regular verbs add “-ed” or “-d” to their base form in past tense and past participle.
  • Irregular verbs, such as “put,” do not follow this pattern and can have the same form for the present, past, and past participle.

When conjugating irregular forms, it’s important to memorize the forms as they do not follow a predictable pattern like regular verbs do. Remember that “put” is the same in past tense as it is in the present tense; “putted” is not a correct term in standard English grammar.

Examples of Incorrect Conjugation:

  • She putted the money in her purse. (Incorrect)
  • The workers putted up the signs. (Incorrect)

Additional Verbal Aspects with ‘Put’

When examining the verb “put” beyond its simple past, it is essential to explore its use in both perfect and continuous aspects. These aspects provide depth and temporal perspective to the verb’s usage.

Perfect Aspect

The perfect aspect involves the composition of “have” or “has” with the past participle “put” to form perfect tenses. Here, the focus is on the completion or effect of the action.

  • Present Perfect: Indicates an action that occurred at an unspecified time before now or an action that has relevance to the present moment.
    • Example: She has put the books on the shelf.

Perfect Tenses with ‘Put’:

Present Perfecthave/has + putThey have put away the toys.
Past Perfecthad + putShe had put away the toys before the guests arrived.
Future Perfectwill have + putThey will have put away the toys by the time we get home.

Continuous Aspect

The continuous aspect, which some grammarians refer to as the progressive aspect, uses the verb “to be” along with the present participle “putting” to express continuous or progressive tenses. This aspect emphasizes the duration or ongoing nature of an action.

  • Present Continuous: Explicitly conveys an action that is ongoing at the moment of speaking.
    • Example: He is putting the groceries into the fridge.

Continuous Tenses with ‘Put’:

Present Continuousis/am/are + puttingShe is putting the books away right now.
Past Continuouswas/were + puttingThey were putting the decorations up when it started to rain.
Future Continuouswill be + puttingWe will be putting effort into the project all week.

In both the perfect and continuous aspects, “put” displays its versatility and adapts to convey the nuances of time and aspect, adhering to its role within the respective tense.

Contextual Use of Tenses with ‘Put’

When working with the verb “put,” one must understand its unique properties as an irregular verb. Unlike many English verbs, “put” does not change form between the present and the past tense. Its past tense and past participle forms are the same as the base form, a trait it shares with verbs like “set” and “let.” Below is a guide for its usage in various grammatical structures.

Affirmative and Negative Forms

The verb “put” is straightforward in its affirmative and negative forms, as it remains unchanged in the past tense. To demonstrate this quality, two tables are provided that illustrate the verb “put” in various tenses in both affirmative and negative constructions.

Present SimpleI/You/We/They putI/You/We/They do not put
 He/She/It putsHe/She/It does not put
Past SimpleI/You/We/They/He/She/It putI/You/We/They/He/She/It did not put
Present PerfectI/You/We/They have putI/You/We/They have not put
 He/She/It has putHe/She/It has not put

The negative forms utilize auxiliary verbs “do,” “does,” or “did” for simple tenses, and “have” or “has” for perfect tenses, combined with “not” to construct the negative. These auxiliary verbs are crucial in forming correct sentence structures for these tenses.

Questions and Imperatives

The use of “put” in questions and imperatives calls for a strict adherence to rules specific to these forms. For questions in the present and past simple tenses, the auxiliary verbs do, does, or did are brought to the beginning of the question.

TenseExample Question
Present SimpleDo you put? / Does he put?
Past SimpleDid they put?

For imperatives, the base form “put” is used directly, often beginning the sentence with no subject, to express a command, request, or suggestion.

  • Put the book on the shelf.
  • Please put your shoes outside.

In crafting questions and commands with “put,” as with other irregular verbs such as “set,” “come,” and “go,” one must rely on memory and familiarity rather than rules of tense changes.

The application of “put” also extends to idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs such as “put up” (tolerate), “put down” (insult), and “put across” (communicate effectively), where the base form remains constant across all tenses.

  • I won’t put up with bad behavior. (Present)
  • She didn’t put up with his excuses yesterday. (Past)

When “put” is used in the context of these expressions, it is essential to grasp not only its tense form, which remains unchanged, but also its combination with particles or prepositions that change the meaning of the phrase.


put (v.)

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