English: spelled and spelt

Tutoring English, you encounter words you’ve heard for decades, but not seen in print. The tutor mentions spelt.

I’ve heard people say spelt as past tense of spell, as in “I didn’t know that word is spelt that way.” Yet, I would’ve written it spelled rather than spelt.

Spelt is valid, though – according to Webster, it’s a British version of spelled.


Mish, Frederic C (editor). Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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