Is It Dreamed or Dreamt? | Spelling, Difference & Examples

UK vs US updated on  December 13, 2023 3 min read
Dreamed and dreamt are two ways of spelling the past tense of the verb “dream,” which means “to experience sensations, images, and thoughts during sleep.”

  • In American English, “dreamed” is standard, but “dreamt” is also considered acceptable.
  • In British English, “dreamt” is most common, but “dreamed” is also correct.
It’s important to choose one spelling and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Examples: Dreamed or dreamt in a sentence
When Lío was a child, he dreamed/dreamt of becoming a nurse.
Larissa often dreamed/dreamt of traveling to new destinations and meeting people.
As a young writer, Pritha dreamed/dreamt of seeing her book on the bestseller list.

Dreamed up or dreamt up

Dreamed up or dreamt up is the past tense form of the phrasal verb to dream up, which means “to concoct” or “to imagine.”

  • In American English, “dreamed up” is standard, but “dreamt up” is also considered acceptable.
  • In British English, “dreamt up” is most common, but “dreamed up” is also correct.

Examples: Dreamed up or dreamt up in a sentence
Vinjay dreamed up/dreamt up a fantastical world in his science fiction novel.
Maureen dreamed up/dreamt up a unique dish for the new menu.
I don’t think that’s true. It seems like something you dreamed up/dreamt up.

Dream as a regular or irregular verb

Dream can be considered both a regular verb and an irregular verb, depending on the preferred spelling of the past tense

  • Verbs that form their past tense by adding “-ed” are regular verbs.
  • Verbs that get a different suffix are considered irregular.
Irregular forms of verbs that can be both regular and irregular are more common in British English. Other examples of verbs that are both irregular and regular are learnt or learned, spelt or spelled, burnt or burned, smelled or smelt, and kneeled or knelt.

Main differences between American and British English

American and British English are very similar, but there are a few main differences in spelling. Five important differences are:

Difference

Rule

Examples

-or vs -our

In American English, many Latin-derived words end in -or.

In British English, these same words end in -our.

Behavior or behaviour
Labor or labour
Favor or favour
Favorite or favourite
Color or colour
Honor or honour

-er vs -re

In American English, some French, Latin, or Greek words end in -er.

In British English, these same words end in -re.

Theater or theatre
Center or centre
Meter or metre
Liter or litre
Saber or sabre
Fiber or fibre

-ize vs -ise

In American English, many Greek-derived words end in -yze or -ize.

In British English, these words end in -yse or -ise.

Realize or realise
Recognize or recognise
Analyze or analyse
Organisation or organization
Minimize or minimise
Finalize or finalise

-ed vs -t

In American English, most verbs are regular and form their past tense with the suffix -ed.

In British English, some of these verbs are irregular and form their past tense with the suffix -t.

Learned or learnt
Burned or burnt
Kneeled or knelt
Dreamed or dreamt
Smelled or smelt
Spelled or spelt

Single vs double consonant

In American English, many words are spelled with a single consonant.

In British English, these same words are spelled with a double consonant.

Modeling or modelling
Traveling or travelling
Canceled or cancelled
Labeled or labelled
Buses or busses
Focused or focussed

Do you want to know more about common mistakes, commonly confused words, rhetorical devices, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Common mistakes

Commonly confused words

Rhetoric

Hers or her’s

Aid vs aide

Malapropism

Truely or truly

Advice vs advise

Pun

Beck and call or beckon call

Council vs counsel

Extended metaphor

Jist or gist

Former vs latter

Simile

Despite of

Breathe vs breath

Dramatic irony


Frequently asked questions about dreamed or dreamt

Is it I dreamed or I dreamt?

Dreamed and dreamt are two spellings of the same verb. They’re both common, depending on the variant of English:

  • Dreamed is more common in American English.
  • Dreamt is more common in British English.

In both cases, the other variant of this past-tense verb is also considered acceptable. It’s important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it dreamed or dreamt in British English?

Dreamed and dreamt are two spellings of the same verb. They’re both common, but dreamt is more common in British English (whereas dreamed is more common in American English).

It’s important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

It is daydreamed or daydreamt?

Dreamed and dreamt are two spellings of the same verb. They’re both common, depending on the variant of English:

  • Dreamed up is more common in American English.
  • Dreamt up is more common in British English.

In both cases, the other variant of this past-tense verb is also considered acceptable. It’s important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Tags

Julia Merkus

Julia has master's degrees in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. Her expertise lies in grammar, language and speech disorders, foreign language learning, and child language acquisition.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.