What’s the Past Tense of Hide: Is It Hid or Hidden? Unlocking English Verb Forms

  • Hid” is the simple past tense form, while “hidden” is the past participle used with auxiliary verbs.
  • The choice between “hid” and “hidden” depends on the sentence’s grammatical structure.
  • Correct use of “hid” and “hidden” enhances clarity and accuracy in past tense expressions.

It’s not uncommon for learners and even native speakers to occasionally confuse these two forms. The use of “hid” or “hidden” depends on the context of the sentence and accompanying auxiliary verbs. For example, “Yesterday, she hid the gift in the closet” is in simple past tense, while “The gift has been hidden in the closet since yesterday” reflects the present perfect tense. This subtle yet significant difference clarifies which form to use in a sentence. By understanding the roles that “hid” and “hidden” play in grammatical structures, speakers can convey precise meaning and maintain clarity in their communication.

What’s the Past Tense of Hide?

The English language often presents a variety of ways to conjugate verbs, and the verb hide is no exception.

When it comes to the irregular verb hide, the simple past tense is hid. This form is used for actions that were completed in the past. For example, one might say, “Yesterday, she hid the keys under the mat.”

The past participle, on the other hand, is hidden. This form is utilized with auxiliary verbs to create perfect tenses. The sentence, “The keys have been hidden under the mat,” employs the past participle.

Consider these tables for a concise representation:

Simple Pasthid
Past Participlehidden

Usage examples include:

  • Simple Past Tense:

    • I hid.
    • You hid.
    • He/She/It hid.
    • We hid.
    • They hid.
  • Past Participle:

    • I have hidden.
    • You have hidden.
    • He/She/It has hidden.
    • We have hidden.
    • They have hidden.

Bullet points indicate the correct pairing of tenses with the subject:

  • Simple Past Tense: He hid the documents in the safe.
  • Past Perfect Tense: She had hidden the gift before the party.

Note that while both forms did and hidden are valid, the context in which they are used is essential to maintain accuracy. Now, let’s examine each in detail to solidify understanding.

Regular vs. Irregular Verbs

Most regular verbs in English form the past tense by adding -ed to the base form. For example:

  • wantwanted
  • callcalled

However, hide is an irregular verb, which means it does not follow the standard pattern and has unique forms:

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Base FormSimple PastPast Participle

Forms of the Verb to Hide

The verb “to hide” has two past forms: “hid” and “hidden.” Understanding the correct use of these forms is essential for proper grammar.

Differentiating Between “Hid” and “Hidden”

“Hid” and “hidden” serve different grammatical functions in English. “Hid” is the simple past tense form of “to hide,” used to describe an action that was completed at a definite time in the past. On the other hand, “hidden” is the past participle form and is used in perfect tense constructions requiring an auxiliary verb.

Simple Past TensePast Participle
I hid the gifts.The gifts have been hidden.

In practice, the choice between “hid” and “hidden” depends on the context:

  • Simple Past Tense (“Hid”)

    • Use without an auxiliary verb.
    • Example: Yesterday, she hid the keys.
  • Past Participle (“Hidden”)

    • Use with an auxiliary verb, such as “has,” “have,” or “had.”
    • Example: The keys have been hidden since yesterday.

Examples of “Hide” in Sentences

The verb “hide” has two past forms: “hid” and “hidden”. “Hid” is the simple past tense form, and “hidden” is the past participle, which is used with auxiliary verbs like “has,” “have,” or “had.”

Here are examples illustrating the use of “hide” in sentences:

Simple Past Tense “Hid”

  • Sentence example: She hid the keys under the mat.

Past Participle “Hidden”

  • Sentence example: They have hidden the evidence.
Simple Past Tense “Hid”Past Participle “Hidden”
He hid the gift inside the closet.The gift has been hidden away.
She hid her face in her hands.Her tears had been hidden.
  • Sentences with auxiliary verbs:

    • They have hidden the truth from us.
    • He had hidden in the attic to surprise her.
  • “Hid” without auxiliary verbs:

    • She hid behind the curtain as kids looked for her.
    • It hid beneath the leaves, nearly invisible to the naked eye.

Illustrating “Hid” in Sentences

The word “hid” is the simple past tense form of the verb “hide,” which means to put something in a place where it cannot be seen or found. Grammatically, “hid” is specifically utilized when the action is in the simple past tense, without the need for any auxiliary verbs.

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To visualize how “hid” functions within the context of a sentence, here are a few examples:

  • He hid the gift under the table so that the children wouldn’t find it before the birthday celebration.
  • The sun hid behind the clouds, casting a shadow over the beach.

Usage of “Hid” in Different Contexts

Below are tables illustrating the verb “hid” in affirmative and negative sentences:

Affirmative Sentences
She hid her diary somewhere she thought nobody would ever look.
The cat hid under the bed during the thunderstorm.
Negative Sentences
They didn’t hid the truth on purpose; it was an oversight.
I hadn’t hid the keys; they were in my bag all along.

The Verb “Hid” in Questions

When forming questions in the past tense, “hid” is still used, as demonstrated in the following examples:

  • Where hid you the map?
  • Who hid the cookies from the jar?

Note: In modern English usage, questions in the past simple would typically use “did” as an auxiliary verb (Where did you hide? Who hid the cookies from the jar?), but the above examples illustrate using “hid” directly for questions, which might sound archaic or uncommon.

Using “Hid” in Compound Sentences

The ability to combine clauses effectively can enrich and extend the capabilities of expressing thoughts. Below are examples of compound sentences using “hid”:

  • She hid the spare key under the mat, and he found it the next day.
  • He hid the letters in a box, but she discovered them while cleaning the attic.

In these sentences, “hid” clearly designates an action completed in the past.

Showcasing Examples with “Hidden” in Sentences

“Hidden” is the past participle form of “hide” and is often used after versions of the verb “to have.” Here are examples illustrating the use of “hidden” in sentences across various contexts.

Regular Sentences

  • She has hidden the keys somewhere in the house.
  • All the easter eggs were hidden by the time the children woke up.

Passive Voice

  • The treasures were hidden by pirates centuries ago.
  • The files have been hidden to prevent unauthorized access.
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Perfect Tenses

  • They have hidden the truth from us for too long.
  • By the end of the day, all evidence had been hidden.

Examples in Complex Tenses:

TenseExample Sentence
Present PerfectThe cat has hidden under the bed again.
Past PerfectThey had hidden the documents before the meeting.
Future PerfectBy tomorrow, all clues will have been hidden.

Adjective Usage:

  • The hidden compartment proved difficult to find.
  • His talents remain hidden due to his shyness.

Using “hidden” in sentences helps to provide specificity about the timing and completion of the action relative to other events. Understanding the difference between simple past and past participle forms equips individuals to express themselves accurately and effectively.

Phrases with Hide

In English, the verb “hide” is often used in various phrases to convey the act of concealing something or someone.

Simple Past Tense: Hid
The simple past tense of “hide” is “hid.” Here are some phrases using the simple past:

  • Yesterday, she hid the keys under the mat.
  • They hid in the closet during the game of hide-and-seek.

Past Participle: Hidden
The past participle form is “hidden.” Phrases with the past participle include:

  • The treasures were hidden away for centuries.
  • He had successfully hidden his feelings from her.

Common Phrases using “Hid” and “Hidden”

Phrase with “Hid”Usage Example
She hid the gift from her friend.Conveys the action completed in the past.
He hid his diary in his drawer.Describes a singular event of concealing something.
Phrase with “Hidden”Usage Example
The documents have been hidden.Implies the documents are still concealed.
The truth remained hidden from them.Indicates an ongoing state from the past.

When constructing sentences or phrases using “hide,” choice of tense is critical for clarity:

  • Present: “She hides the letter in her book.”
  • Past: “Last night, he hid the letter in his book.”
  • Past Participle with “has/have”: “She has hidden the letter in her book.”

Using “Hide” in Phrases

Here are examples showcasing the different ways “hide” can be incorporated into phrases:

  • The cat hid under the sofa when the guests arrived.
  • Messages are often hidden in plain sight within a painting.
  • It’s not uncommon for siblings to hide sweets from each other.
  • Many animals hid their young to protect them from predators.

Origin of the Verb Hide

The English verb hide has its roots deeply entwined with the historical development of the English language. Its ancestry can be traced back to the Old English verb hȳdan, which encompassed the same meaning as the contemporary verb: to conceal. It belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family, sharing linguistic DNA with Old Norse’s hjū́a and German’s heiden.

The etymology of hide reflects a common evolution in verb structure from Old English to Modern English:

Old EnglishMiddle EnglishModern English
hȳdanhide (hyden)hide

In the Middle English era, the verb underwent minimal changes, retaining the form hide, though the pronunciation and spelling could vary.

Usage of hide in the past tense has a more complex history. Modern English employs two distinct forms:

  • Simple Past Tense: hid
  • Past Participle: hidden

These different forms demonstrate the verb’s categorization as irregular, where standard -ed endings are not applicable.

Through time, the language saw variations in the past tense construction of hide:

Past TensePast Participle

Its function in sentences varies:

  • hid: He hid the treasure.
  • hidden: The treasure is hidden.


1. Harper Douglas, “Etymology of hide,” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/hide

2. “Hide.” Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/hide

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