Mastering English: Past Tense Inputs

The Ins and Outs of Input’s Past Tense: A Comprehensive Guide to English Language Mastery

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Derek Cupp

By Derek Cupp

Diving headfirst into the complexities of English, I’m here to shed light on a fascinating aspect: the past tense of input. You’re probably wondering, “Isn’t it just ‘inputted’?” Well, you’d be surprised! The English language isn’t always cut and dried, and our exploration into this particular verb will reveal some surprising insights.

There’s no denying that understanding English can sometimes feel like unlocking a cryptic code. Today we’ll delve into the etymology of “input”, how it’s used in different contexts, and why its past tense might not be what you expect. As we journey together through these grammatical twists and turns, I assure you – there’s never a dull moment when it comes to mastering the intricacies of this diverse language!

So hold onto your hats (or should that be dictionaries?) as I guide you through the ins and outs of input’s past tense. This linguistic ride promises not only to enhance your grasp on grammar but also give you an edge in crafting impeccable sentences. So let’s dive right in!

Understanding the Past Tense of ‘Input’

Let’s dive into one of English language’s peculiarities – the past tense of ‘input’. You’d think it’s a straightforward topic, right? But it’s not that simple. The word “input” is what we call an irregular verb, meaning its past tense isn’t formed by just adding an “-ed” to the end.

The first thing you need to know is that there are two accepted forms for the past tense of ‘input’ – ‘input‘ and ‘inputted‘. Both versions are grammatically correct and widely used in both American and British English.

So, why do we have two forms? It all boils down to preference. Some people feel that ‘inputted’ sounds more natural as it follows the regular pattern for forming the past tense (like ‘fitted’, or ‘committed’). On the other hand, some folks prefer ‘input’ because it’s less clunky.

Here are a few examples:



Yesterday, I inputted new data into my spreadsheet.


Last week, I input incorrect information by mistake.


You might wonder if there’s any geographical difference in usage between these two forms – like color vs colour or center vs centre between American and British English. Research suggests there isn’t any significant distinction; both versions appear on either side of the Atlantic.

Remember how I mentioned earlier about irregular verbs? Irregular verbs don’t follow standard rules for verb conjugation, such as ending in “-ed” for their past tense form. For example:

  • Swim becomes swam

  • Go becomes went

  • Think becomes thought

These words don’t follow general patterns; they’re unique in their formation.

Is this confusing? Yes! Is it part of what makes mastering English so challenging (and interesting)? Absolutely!

Knowing whether to use “input” or “inputted” largely comes down to personal preference and style guides (if you’re writing professionally). My advice: pick a form you’re comfortable with and stick with it consistently!

Analyzing Linguistic Nuances: Why ‘Inputted’ Matters

Diving right into the topic, let’s first address a common misconception. Many folks presume that adding an “ed” to the end of a verb is all it takes to convert it into past tense. But, as any wordsmith will tell you, English isn’t always quite so straightforward. Let’s look at “input”. We might instinctively say “inputted”, but is this grammatically correct?

Now, I’ve seen arguments in favor of both “input” and “inputted” as proper past tense forms. The word itself originates from the 14th century Middle English term “putten”, which meant “to push”. In modern usage however, things aren’t quite so clear cut.

In American English, we tend to favor simplicity and efficiency – hence why “input” often wins out over its more cumbersome cousin, “inputted”. Yet in British English? Not so much. They’re quite partial to using ‘double consonants’, resulting in more frequent use of “inputted”.

I’ve collated some real-world examples below:

U.S Sentence Example

UK Sentence Example

Yesterday, I input the data into the system

Yesterday, I inputted the data into the system

It’s interesting how such a small distinction can create such a stir! To add fuel to that fire:

  • The Oxford Dictionary recognizes both with no preference.

  • Merriam-Webster lists ‘Input’ as preferred with ‘Inputted’ as an alternative form.

So what does this mean for your writing? Here are some quick takeaways:

  1. Consider your audience: If you’re addressing American readers or writing formally, stick with ‘Input’. On casual platforms or when talking to British audiences though? Feel free to use ‘Inputted’.

  2. Context matters: If your sentence sounds awkward with one form or another… switch it up!

  3. There’s no definitive rule here, so don’t sweat it too much!

And there you have it – my insights on this fascinating linguistic conundrum! While we may not have reached a definitive conclusion (after all, language evolves!), I hope these observations help deepen your appreciation for our wonderfully complex language – English!

Conclusion: The Impact on English Language Mastery

Mastering the past tense of ‘input’ can feel like a daunting task, but it’s one that has profound effects on your overall command of the English language. It’s not just about knowing when to use ‘inputted’ or ‘input’. More importantly, it’s about understanding the rules and irregularities that shape English as we know it today.

Diving deep into this linguistic phenomenon, I’ve discovered a fascinating world of exceptions and oddities. For instance, many software applications prefer ‘inputted’ for its consistency with other regular verbs. Yet in everyday speech and writing, you’re more likely to stumble upon ‘input’.

Here are some practical examples showing how both forms are used:



Technical document

Data was inputted into the system without errors.

Casual conversation

I input the wrong password and got locked out.

In essence, mastering these nuances will not only make you more proficient in English but also give you insights into its evolution and flexibility.


  • Learning verb tenses isn’t just about memorization; it also involves recognizing patterns.

  • There’s no absolute right or wrong when choosing between ‘input’ and ‘inputted’. It mostly depends on context and personal preference.

  • Exploring these intricacies can enrich your understanding of English.

The journey towards fluency is filled with challenges. But armed with knowledge about these ins-and-outs, you’ll be better equipped to navigate its twists and turns. And who knows? You might even find yourself enjoying the ride!

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