English is a difficult language for many reasons, but one of the more frustrating things is when it comes to verb and verb tenses. While there are strict rules for some, there are very lax rules for others. And this is never truer when it comes to the word “to put.”
So what is the past tense of the verb, “to put?” “Put.” However lackluster this may seem, it tends to be chaotic for English-speaking newcomers to understand because most other verbs with the exact same characters require a –ted after the t– for the past tense. But this isn’t the same for “put.”
The verb “to put” is irregular and the correct form of the past simple is “put”.
Proper Past of “Put”
When someone wants to show the specific placement of an object, they use the verb “to put.” The present and past tense are the same, “put.” But, the past tense helps to illustration how you placed something somewhere prior to or before the moment of mentioning it.
Present Tense: She put the brush here.
Past Tense: She put the brush here.
Therefore, the past tense form of “put” will heavily impinge on the context of the object in question. However, you can conjugate the verbs “to have” or “to do” in the past tense to indicate the past if the context is fuzzy and unclear.
She had put the brush here.
She did put the brush here.
Correct Use of “Putted”
“Putted” is a term that often refers to the sport of golf. It’s the past tense of “putt,” when a player gently hits a ball into the green. When having a discussion about golfing, “put” and “putted” are interchangeable, but they don’t mean the same things.
He putted onto the green like a maestro conducting a symphony.
He put the ball into the green like a maestro conducting a symphony.
The first example refers to hitting the ball gently as a golfing technique. The second suggests many scenarios in hitting the ball: striking it from afar, hitting it hard or some other way of making it onto the green. However, both examples describe the move’s gracefulness.
It’s easy enough to understand how to use “put” in the past tense. You don’t need –ted as you would for similar verbs of this kind. “Putted” means you are talking about golf. It isn’t hard, but it is somewhat tedious.