Both “spit” and “spat” are correct ways to indicate the action of projecting saliva from the mouth. The difference is that one is in the present tense (spit) and the other is past tense (spat). Comprehension is simple since both don’t change during conjugation. This is true regardless of whether it qualifies as a noun or a pronoun.
The Difference; What They Mean
The difference between “spit” and “spat” is the verb tense. Both are variations of the infinitive, “to spit.” This refers to the act of ejecting fluids from the mouth with saliva. However, it can also refer to a very light rain.
Therefore, “spit” is the current action of emitting saliva. “Spat,” on the other hand, is having done the action in the past, in that it already occurred.
Examples of “Spit” and “Spat”
So you can commit the difference between these words to memory, study the sentences below and say them aloud. Notice that when the verb tense changes, other elements of the sentence must reflect that change to be grammatically correct.
|She spit out the food because it tastes terrible.||She spat out the food because it tasted terrible.|
|Jean spit in Bob’s face after hearing his insult.||Jean spat in Bob’s face after hearing his insult.|
|The rain clouds spit water droplets.||The rain clouds spat water droplets.|
|When you spit tobacco, it is a gross brown color.||When you spat tobacco, it was a gross brown color.|
|You spit the toothpaste out after brushing.||You spat the toothpaste out after brushing.|
Incorrect Ways to Spell “Spit” and “Spat”
Because the rules of English grammar can get awkward, there are some incorrect uses to note. Particularly, some people try to add a –ted at the end of both “spit” and “spat” to make them past tense. While you can use “spitted” and it will be correct, it sounds strange. Review the examples below:
She spitted out the food because it tasted terrible.
Jean spatted in Bob’s face after hearing his insult.
The rain clouds spitted water droplets.
When you spatted tobacco, it was a gross brown color. You spitted the toothpaste out after brushing.
“Spit” and “spat” are present and past tense forms of the verb “to spit.” It indicates the action of pushing saliva from the mouth or a very light rain.