What’s the Past Tense of the Verb “Wear”? Learn It Here!

  • The past tense of ‘wear’ is ‘wore’, an irregular verb form.
  • Worn‘ is the past participle form, utilized in perfect tenses and as an adjective.
  • Distinguishing between ‘wore’ and ‘worn’ is vital for accurate grammar application.

The verb ‘wear’ refers to having clothing, jewelry, or accessories on one’s body. Unlike regular verbs that typically end with “-ed” to form the past tense, ‘wear’ is an irregular verb. This means its past tense is not created by the standard method of adding a suffix to the present tense.

In the past tense, ‘wear’ becomes ‘wore’. It’s important to distinguish between ‘wore’ and ‘worn’, as they serve different functions in sentences. ‘Wore’ is used for the simple past, which indicates an action completed in the past at a specific time. Meanwhile, ‘worn’ is the past participle form and is used in perfect tenses or as an adjective. Recognizing the difference ensures correct verb usage in varied contexts.

What’s the Past Tense of the Verb ‘Wear’?

The simple past tense of “wear” is:

  • wore

For example:

  • She wore her favorite dress to the party.

The past participle of “wear” is:

  • worn

This form is used in perfect tenses. For instance:

  • He has worn that coat every winter for five years.

Here are tables summarizing the conjugation:

Simple Past Tense

SubjectConjugation
Iwore
Youwore
He/She/Itwore
Wewore
Theywore

Past Participle

SubjectConjugation
Ihave worn
Youhave worn
He/She/Ithas worn
Wehave worn
Theyhave worn

Below are examples demonstrating the usage of “wear” in various tenses:

  • Simple Past Tense: They wore their team jerseys on game day.
  • Present Perfect Tense: She has worn that necklace every day since she received it.

Is it ‘Wore’ or ‘Worn’?

Wore:

  • Definition: The simple past tense of “wear.”
  • Usage: When referring to an event that happened at a specific time in the past.
  • Example: “Yesterday, she wore a red dress.”

Worn:

  • Definition: The past participle of “wear.”
  • Usage: With an auxiliary verb to form perfect tenses.
  • Example: “The red dress has been worn many times.”
TenseExample Sentence
Simple PastShe wore the dress.
Present PerfectShe has worn the dress.

Using “wore” and “worn” correctly is crucial to convey the correct temporal context. Below are examples illustrating their proper use:

  • Simple Past: “He wore his boots in the muddy field.”
  • Past Participle: “Those boots have been worn in many muddy fields.”

When to use ‘wore’:

  • Discussing a standalone event in the past.
  • No need for an auxiliary verb.
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When to use ‘worn’:

  • Discussing a state or a recurring event up to now.
  • Requires an auxiliary verb like has, have, or had.

In practice, “wore” describes an action fully completed in the past, while “worn” often relates to the present state due to past actions. Remember that “worn” must always be accompanied by a helping verb to complete its meaning.

Forms of the Verb ‘Wear’

Present Tense

  • I wear
  • You wear
  • He/she/it wears
  • We wear
  • They wear

The present tense form is used to describe a repeated or habitual action, as well as a current state.

Past Tense

  • I wore
  • You wore
  • He/she/it wore
  • We wore
  • They wore

The simple past tense form “wore” is used for actions that were completed in the past.

Past Participle

  • I have worn
  • You have worn
  • He/she/it has worn
  • We have worn
  • They have worn

The past participle “worn” is typically combined with the auxiliary verb “have” to form the present perfect tense.

Present Participle

  • I am wearing
  • You are wearing
  • He/she/it is wearing
  • We are wearing
  • They are wearing

The present participle “wearing” is used in the present continuous tense to indicate an action that is ongoing in the present.

TenseSingularPlural
Presentwearswear
Pastworewore
Past Participlewornworn
Present Participlewearingwearing

To demonstrate the proper use of each form, consider these examples:

  • She wears a uniform to work every day.
  • They wore their raincoats during the storm.
  • He has worn his favorite shoes so often, they’re nearly worn out.
  • We are wearing sunglasses to protect our eyes from the glare.

‘Wore’ vs. ‘Worn’: What’s the Difference?

“Wore” is the past tense form of “wear.” It indicates an action that happened in the past and was completed. For example:

  • Yesterday, she wore a blue dress.
  • They wore their team jerseys during the match.

“Worn”, on the other hand, is the past participle of “wear” and requires an auxiliary verb like “have” or “has.” It’s used to describe an action that has occurred at an unspecified time in the past or has relevance to the present. Consider the following examples:

  • The necklace has been worn by generations in their family.
  • This coat had been worn many times before it ripped.

To illustrate the usage more clearly, here is a comparison:

Past Tense “Wore”Past Participle “Worn”
She wore the dress.She has worn the dress several times.
They wore helmets.They had worn helmets for safety.
  • Use “wore” when indicating a specific moment in the past.
  • Use “worn” when discussing an action’s relevance to the present or when it’s occurred at an unspecified time in the past.
  • “Wore” = past action, completed.
  • “Worn” = part of a verb phrase, indicating continuity or repetition.
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The Verb Wear in the Present Tense (in Context)

Subject-Verb Agreement

The verb “wear” changes slightly when used with third-person singular pronouns. Here’s how “wear” is conjugated in present tense:

  • I wear
  • You wear
  • He/She/It wears
  • We wear
  • They wear

Present Tense Usage

The verb “wear” can illustrate habitual or continuous actions. In the context of a sentence, it often accompanies words that indicate frequency such as “always,” “usually,” “often,” “sometimes,” and “seldom.”

Examples in Sentences

  • I wear a tie to work every day.
  • She wears her grandmother’s ring on special occasions.

Continuous Present Tense

“Wear” can also be used in the present continuous tense to describe actions that are happening right now or around the current moment.

  • He is wearing a blue jacket today.
  • They are wearing costumes for the play rehearsal.

Conjugation Table for “Wear”

SubjectConjugation
Iwear
Youwear
He/She/Itwears
Wewear
Theywear

Usage in Different Contexts

Using “wear” in various contexts helps to specify the action more precisely:

  • Accessories: He wears his watch on the left wrist.
  • Clothes: They often wear uniforms while at school.
  • Conditions: It wears the metal down over time.

Examples of ‘Wore’ in the Past Tense (in Context)

Sentences Using ‘Wore’

Several sentences can illustrate the proper use of ‘wore’ in everyday language:

  • She wore a beautiful dress to the party last night.
  • They wore their team jerseys every game day.
  • He always wore a smile, even when times were tough.

‘Wore’ in Historical Context

‘| Year | Historical Figure | Attire |
|——|——————-|——–|
| 1776 | George Washington | wore a military uniform |
| 1853 | Queen Victoria | wore white at her wedding |

This table demonstrates how ‘wore’ can be used to describe what historical figures donned in significant events.

‘Wore’ in Literature Context

  • In the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, Atticus Finch wore glasses, denoting wisdom and maturity.
  • In ‘The Great Gatsby’, Daisy Buchanan often wore dresses that reflected the opulence of the Roaring Twenties.

Conjugation with ‘Wore’ in Frame Structures

Here are some common structures:

  • Question: Did you wear your hat yesterday? (past simple)
  • Negative: I did not wear the red shoes. (past simple negative)
  • Interrogative negative: Didn’t she wear the necklace to the reception? (past simple interrogative negative)
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The past tense ‘wore’ is applied consistently across various contexts and narrative frames, conveying a clear, factual action in the past.

Examples of the Past Participle ‘Worn’ (in Context)

  • As an adjective:

    • The worn pages of the book showed its age.
    • She treasured the worn jacket for its comfortable fit.
  • In perfect tenses:

    • They have worn the uniforms once.
    • By the end of the day, all the shoes had been worn.
Auxiliary VerbPast Participle ‘Worn’Example Sentence
haswornHe has worn out his welcome.
havewornThey have worn similar outfits to the event.
hadwornShe had worn that dress before deciding to donate it.

When ‘worn’ is applied in context, it conveys not only the action of wearing but also emphasizes the duration or completion of that action.

  • Present Perfect:

    • She has worn her hair in the same style for years.
    • They have worn their team jerseys every game day.
  • Past Perfect:

    • He had worn the costume only once before it ripped.
  • Pluperfect:

    • They had worn out their welcome by staying too long.
FormFunctionExample
wornAdjective describing a conditionThe worn carpet needs replacing.
wornResult of wearing over timeThe once new shoes were now visibly worn.

Phrases with ‘Wear’

In the simple past tense, “wear” becomes “wore”. Here are a few examples:

  • Yesterday, she wore a stunning blue dress.
  • They wore their team jerseys to the game last week.

Table 1: Simple Past Tense Phrases with ‘Wear’

SubjectPhrase
He/She/Itwore
You/We/Theywore

When discussing the past with a focus on the actions’ duration, the past continuous tense is used, employing “was wearing” or “were wearing”:

  • He was wearing his raincoat because it was drizzling.
  • They were wearing safety equipment during the entire shift.

Table 2: Past Continuous Tense Phrases with ‘Wear’

SubjectPhrase
He/She/Itwas wearing
You/We/Theywere wearing

For actions that were completed before another action in the past, the past perfect tense using “had worn” is appropriate:

  • By the time they arrived, she had already worn out her shoes.
  • The jacket he had worn was tattered.
  • The gloves you had worn were still warm.

Bold terms emphasize the different tenses and forms of “wear,” showcasing its versatility in past tense narration.

Origin of the Verb ‘Wear’

The verb ‘wear’ has its origins deeply rooted in the history of the English language, evolving over time from Old English to the modern form we use today. To understand its evolution, we delve into its etymological background and historical applications.

Old EnglishMiddle EnglishModern English
werianwerenwear

In Old English, the verb ‘werian’ signified the action of carrying or having something on one’s person as clothing or armor. The term has Germanic origins, sharing a common ancestry with Dutch ‘weren’ and German ‘wehren’ meaning to defend, resist, or protect.

  • Evolution to Middle English: As language transformed into Middle English, ‘werian’ became ‘weren,’ slightly shifting in pronunciation but retaining its core meaning.
  • Adoption into Modern English: With further linguistic development, ‘weren’ transitioned into the contemporary form ‘wear.’

Grammatical Forms:

  • Infinitive: to wear
  • Simple Past: wore
  • Past Participle: worn

The progression from Old to Modern English shows both a simplification of form and a slight shift in meaning, where today ‘wear’ primarily relates to the action of having clothing on one’s body.

English PeriodExample Sentence
Old English“He werede helm” (He wore a helmet)
Middle English“He wereth clothis” (He wears clothes)
Modern English“They wear uniforms”

Understanding the origin of ‘wear’ provides insight into the rich tapestry of the English language; its journey through time highlights the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of linguistic expression.

Sources

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

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