Though you may hear the word ‘acrossed’ in conversations with native American English speakers, the word is incorrect and not actually a word at all! Acrossed is an incorrect word that is heard mainly in Northern Midwestern states.
Continue reading on to learn more about the etymology and definition of across, why acrossed is not a word, and how to use across properly in a sentence.
Etymology and Definition of Across
Over 200 years the definition of across expanded rapidly. In the 1200s across was spelled ‘o cros’ and was middle French meaning in the shape of a cross. By the 1300s ‘o cros’ was changed to ‘a-croiz’ and at that time meant in a crossed position.
The word changed again by the early 14th century and was spelled ‘acros’. In this time period the word meant ‘from one side to another’. Today, the Oxford English Dictionary defines across still as ‘from one side to another’ and also ‘to express position and orientation’.
Why Isn’t Acrossed a Word?
Across cannot be put into past tense by adding –ed to the end like some words. This is because across is either an adverb or a preposition. This means that to use the word across, you must have a verb or other qualifier added to it.
In the example ‘I went across the street’, the word ‘went’ is telling the reader or listener the time period in which it happened. We can tell that it happened in the past from the use of the word ‘went’. Using the word ‘went’ means that we do not need to add the –ed to signify the time period in the sentence.
You can also do this in other tenses as well. ‘I am going across the street’ tells the reader someone is crossing the street in the future using the word ‘going’ and ‘I’m walking across the street’ tells the listener that someone is actively doing something.
Examples of Using Across in a Sentence
You can use different verbs to format the word across in different ways. Past, present, and future tense are all ways that you can use the word across, providing you have a proper verb or qualifier. Here are a few examples of how to use across in a sentence.
- He walked across the river to fish on the other side.
- The children lived across the street from one another and were best friends.
- Europe is across the globe from America.
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