1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Dove vs. dived

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lostinwebspace, Apr 19, 2011.

    According to Merriam-Webster, both dived and dove are acceptable past tenses for dive. I'm used to using dove as a past tense (despite my insistance on myself to make any verb a regular verb if I have a choice). It works well with my ear. However, I've heard that dove, while it's popular, isn't as safe to use as dived, which, to me, sounds weirder. Is it just me? Should I be using dived?
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Both "dove" and "dived" are acceptable past tenses in American English. "Dived" is by far the more acceptable past tense in UK English.
     
  3. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fowler says that "dived" is used throughout the English speaking world, but "dove" has been noted in regional US English and does appear in some reasonably standard US sources. That would seem to support what you've said: either can be used (in the US at least), but "dived" is safer. Perhaps "dove" sounds more natural to you because you're from one of the regions where it's in "regional use"?
     
  4. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    Dove sounds more natural to me too in most cases.
     
  5. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    "Dove" is what I and everyone else I grew up with use.
     
  6. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Dove/i] sounds more natural to me, too. I would think, at least in the U.S. and Canada, that dived/i] would often give readers pause. So now the question becomes if I would go with what sounds more natural or what is safer.
     
  7. TheGreatNeechi
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    TheGreatNeechi Member

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    Dove is a bird.

    You dived in.

    ;)
     
  8. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Americans should use 'dove', if this is what is standard for them. Fine. However, since non-Americans also use this forum, I have the following to say.
    'Dove' is known only as a bird (noun) in standard British English, it is never used as the past tense of the verb 'dive'. The correct past tense and past participle of 'dive' for British English is 'dived', e.g. 'He dived into the pool' and 'He has just dived in'. Rather as the past tense of 'skive' is 'skived', not 'skove'.

    So, if you want to publish with British English, never, ever use 'dove'. Incidentally, 'dived' is recognised as a perfectly correct alternative in Canada, the US and Australia, so there is no reason I can see why it should 'give readers pause'.

    The only British people who write 'dove' instead of 'dived' are those who are influenced by American English--mostly because their only sources of reference are on the internet. It annoys me more than I can politely say when I see 'dove' used by an English person--which fortunately is almost never.

    The same goes for 'snuck' instead of 'sneaked' and, excuse me, 'shat' instead of 'sh**'. And a few others.

    P.S. How come 'shat' gets past the censor, but 's**t' doesn't?
     
  9. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a tendency to use both if I'm not thinking... :( As previously mentioned almost every time I fail to spell stuff, I have a lot of confusion between American/British. :p I *have* recognised that dove and snuck are wrong for a long time, but I still instinctively use them and and then have to shamefully go back and edit them out on re-reading. :p
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^It's natural that if you read more American English than international English, and watch lots of American English on the net and in films, you start to use both, or confusion sets in.

    IMO, it is really important to read good work by British authors if you are from the UK, and also to be aware of how the people around you--who do not perhaps focus their life on the written word as aspiring writers do!--use English. Otherwise, a phony element creeps into the writing, as annoying as someone trying to assume an accent.
     
  11. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    i have a similar query.

    i have drawn a picture on the wall
    i drew a picture on the wall

    which is correct?
     
  12. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Both can be correct--but it depends on the meaning you want to convey.

    'drew' is the past simple tense of the verb 'draw': Yesterday I drew a picture.

    'drawn' is the past participle, which we must use in perfect tenses, i.e. after 'have/has/had': Look! I have drawn a picture! OR When the mother looked at the paper, she saw her child had drawn a beautiful picture.

    We also use 'drawn' for passive:
    Lots of sketches are drawn by the students at art college.
    That was drawn by Michelangelo.
    That picture has been drawn beautifully.
     
  13. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    got to love the English language.
     
  14. Froggy
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    Dived vs dove - i learn something new every day :) It could be used for dialogue though, especially if your character doesn't necessarily care for grammar too much...

    as for have drawn vs. drew - the explanation i got when learning English, was that drew would be used for an action that has been completed and didn't take too long.
    have drawn is the case when you stand in front of the piece. i.e. the action has an effect in the present (the painting is still there).

    this is easier illustrated by: i drew a bunny on this wall, but it has been painted over. (the bunny is not in evidence anymore, but the clean paint is).
    he knocked over my favorite vase (i was worried there for a moment) - he has knocked over the vase (it is still lying in a mess)

    English is much easier in that way than other languages :cool: - Russian, for example, uses a different verb for completed vs ongoing action - given it's usually just a couple of letters difference, but i never quite manage to think of all the angles when i try to say something...
     

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