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The word “split” can be used as a verb, a noun, and an adjective. As a verb, it means to divide or break something into parts or divide two or more people. As a noun, it refers to a tear or crack.
So, when trying to put the verb “split” in the past tense, which is correct: “splitted” or “split”? To cut straight to the answer, “split” is the past form of the verb.
Let’s look at the reasons why we should say “split” and not “splitted” and provide some example sentences so you can use this verb confidently in an everyday context.
Although it may sound correct, “splitted” is not a proper word. “Splitted” is an archaic word that is obsolete and no longer used in modern English.
While we usually add -ed to the past form, “split” is an irregular verb that does not follow the rules.
Similarly, cut and put are two verbs that have irregular conjugations in the past tense (i.e., “cut” becomes “cut” and “put” becomes “put”).
“Split” is the correct word to use as the past tense and past participle form of “split.”
To remember this, just think the word itself is already in the past tense – it’s already been split!
“Split” Example Sentences
Here are some example sentences using this verb in the past participle and past tense forms:
- I split the log in two with one blow of the axe.
- I split my jeans when I fell off my bike.
- They split up the candy so that each child would get an equal share.
- I had split my time between working and taking care of my children.
- We planned to meet at the party but got split up in the crowd.
- They were arguing so much that they finally split up.
- The rope holding the boat suddenly split, and we began to sink.
- They split the bill evenly.
- The couple split their assets evenly when they divorced.
As you can see from these examples, using “split” as the past tense form of “split” makes perfect sense grammatically.
If you’re still in doubt, you can always check a dictionary to be sure. Both Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com list “split” as this verb’s correct past tense form.
Splitted Vs Split
Here we can see the history of the word “split” and “splitted” and see how they compare over the years. As you can see from Google Ngram Viewer, the word “splitted” was barely used in the corpus of books. You can see a little bump in its usage between 1555 and 1563 (in blue).
If you use the word “splitted,” people will understand what you mean, but it is not considered proper English. It would be better to use the correct past form of the verb, which is “split.”
Other Meanings of “Split”
“Split” can also refer to:
- Split the bill= to share something (usually food or a bill) with someone else
- Split the difference=to reach an agreement by meeting in the middle
- Split one’s sides=to laugh a lot
- Split up (in a relationship)= end of relationship
- Split ends= the ends of your hair that are damaged and look like they’ve been torn
- Stock split= when a company increases its number of shares to make them more affordable
- Split one’s vote= vote for candidates from more than one political party
- Do the splits= to do a gymnastic move where you put your legs out in opposite directions
- Split screen= two images or pieces of information shown side by side on a screen
- Banana split= is a type of dessert made with a banana, ice cream, and sauce
- Split personality= is a psychiatric condition where a person has two or more personalities
Other Common Irregular Verbs
Here are some other common irregular verbs that don’t follow the normal -ed conjugation rules. The list shows the base form of the verb, the simple past tense, and the past participle of the verb.
Base verb: simple past, past participle
- Split: split, split
- Cut: cut, cut
- Put: put, put
- Set: set, set
- Do: did, done
- Cost: cost/costed, cost/costed
- Hit: hit, hit
- Hurt: hurt, hurt
- Let: let, let
- Bet: bet, bet
- Shine: shone/shined, shone/shined
- Mean: meant, meant
- Build: built, built
- Choose: chose, chosen
- Bite: bit, bitten
- Eat: ate, eaten
- Drink: drank, drunk
- Drive: drove, driven
- Fall: fell, fallen
- Feel: felt, felt
- Find: found, found
- Forget: forgot, forgotten
- Get: got, gotten/got
- Give: gave, given
- Grow: grew, grown
- Know: knew, known
- Leave: left, left
- Lose: lost, lost
As you can see, “split” is a versatile word with many different meanings. Remember that when you’re using it as a verb, the correct past tense form is “split,” not “splitted.” Now that you know this, use the verb confidently in your conversations and writing!
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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
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