Dived or Dove?

Being in a tourist dive destination, we get divers from all over the globe.  Many a time have I been at a happy hour talking about our dives and then it started, North Americans and Canadians speak about where they dove, (just as I always do, even though I know it is not grammatically correct) 🙂 and then the British speak about where they “dived”  This very confusing for the rest of the world whose first language is not English. 🙂  

Now what is correct?  Yesterday we dove Tortuga or did we dived?  Still to me dove sounds better………

The traditional past-tense form of dive is dived. Although dove is common in speech, it’s probably safer to stick with dived in writing.

dived, dove


v. dived or dove (dōv), diveddiv·ingdives (dove is in the list!!!)
a. To plunge, especially headfirst, into water.
b. To execute a dive in athletic competition.
c. To participate in the sport of competitive diving.
Usage Note: Either dove or dived is acceptable as the past tense of dive. Usage preferences show regional distribution, although both forms are heard throughout the United States. According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, in the North, dove is more prevalent; in the South Midland, dived. Dived is actually the earlier form, and the emergence of dove may appear anomalous in light of the general tendencies of change in English verb forms. Old English had two classes of verbs: strong verbs, whose past tense was indicated by a change in their vowel (a process that survives in such present-day English verbs as drive/drove or fling/flung); and weak verbs, whose past was formed with a suffix related to -ed in Modern English (as in present-day English live/lived and move/moved). Since the Old English period, many verbs have changed from the strong pattern to the weak one. The development of dove is an additional example of the small group of verbs that have swum against the historical tide.
So now I know I was never grammatically incorrect when I used the word “dove” I’ll just remember to write dived next time I write a blog about where I dove! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Dived or Dove?

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