Forbade or Forbidden? Past Tense Of “Forbid” (Helpful Examples)

You should make sure you learn the past tense of “forbid” to help expand your English knowledge. It might not be the most common verb, but the better your understanding, the better your writing. This article will explain the past tense forms for you.

Forbade or Forbidden: Which Is Correct?

“Forbade” is the simple past tense. We use this when thinking back to “forbidding” something in the past, but the action has run its course in the present. “Forbidden” is the past participle, which we use with an auxiliary verb to create one of three potential present tenses.

Forbade or Forbidden: Which Is Correct?

You might understand more about what we just said by looking at the following:

  • I forbade you from taking part in the tournament, but you still did it!
  • You have forbidden me from reaching the end, and I appreciate that!

The following will explain the three forms we will work with in this article:

VerbForbid
PastForbade
Past ParticipleForbidden
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When Is “Forbade” Correct?

So, when does the simple past tense actually work?

You can use “forbade” when you want to talk about “forbidding” something in the past. We mostly use this to think about a time in our past or someone else’s past. It’s an event that cannot be altered in any way in the present.

The present tense “forbid” is affected in certain ways by the pronoun we use, but this same rule does not extend to “forbade.” The simple past tense form stays the same regardless of pronoun choice.

  • Present tense: You forbid
  • Present tense: It forbids
  • Past tense: We forbade
  • Past tense: She forbade

Example Sentences Using “Forbade”

“Forbade” is the simple past tense, making it slightly easier to understand. Still, these examples will explain what you need to know.

  1. They forbade me from speaking any more about it.
  2. You forbade me from far too much in my youth.
  3. The librarian forbade us from talking at all.
  4. The school forbade the students from enjoying their recess.
  5. He forbade us from going to the cops.
  6. I forbade my children from playing any games.

“Forbade” is the simple past tense. We use this form to refer to someone “forbidding” something in the past and thinking back to that event. There is no action that can be taken to correct or change the event in the present.

When Is “Forbidden” Correct?

You need to understand the perfect tenses when it comes to using the past participle. They make up a large chunk of the past tense in English, and using the past participle (plus a helping verb) is paramount for them to be correct.

“Forbidden” is the past participle, which is incorrect on its own. However, when used with a helping verb like “have,” we can create one of three possible perfect tenses (past, present, and future).

You might benefit from learning about the perfect tenses and their forms:

  • Past perfect: Had forbidden
  • Present perfect: Have forbidden
  • Future perfect: Will have forbidden

We must always keep the form of “forbidden” the same in all of these tenses. We do this because it’s the past participle, and its spelling cannot be altered.

You might notice, however, that “have” changes form based on the perfect tense we use. Obviously, “had” is the past tense, and we include “will” alongside it to show when something happens in the future.

Example sentences using “Forbidden”

Since a little more thought is required to get the past participle correct, we’ll split this part into three sections.

Past Perfect

  1. We had forbidden anyone from entering here, but we decided against that after the last event!
  2. You had forbidden me from talking, but I don’t see why I need to listen to you anymore.

“Had forbidden” is the past perfect tense. We use it to talk about someone “forbidding” something in the past, though the action has long been completed. Typically, that thing is no longer “forbidden” for the people involved.

Present Perfect

  1. You have forbidden me from achieving my goals yet again! I can’t take it anymore.
  2. They have forbidden me from talking to you any further.

“Have forbidden” works in the present perfect tense. We use this to talk about someone “forbidding” something in the past, although the “forbidding” action continues or finishes in the present.

Future Perfect

  1. You would have forbidden me from taking part in this game if you got the chance.
  2. She would have forbidden us both from being here if she knew anything about it.

“Would have forbidden” is the future perfect tense. We use it when talking about a future scenario that is likely to take place based on the actions of someone in the present. Usually, an “if” clause is present in this tense to talk about what that action might be.

How “Forbidden” can also be used as an adjective

“Forbidden” isn’t just a past participle verb form. We can also use it as a descriptive word. It would help you to learn more about the adjective form before you try to use it.

“Forbidden” means that something is banned or not allowed. We use it for certain things in our lives that people might not be allowed to access (unless they have a specific reason for doing so).

Example sentences using “Forbidden” as an adjective

  1. The forbidden fruit was taken from the tree.
  2. This activity is forbidden, and I must insist you stop immediately!
  3. This cake is forbidden to anyone who isn’t a part of this celebration!

“Have Forbade” Vs. “Have Forbidden”

“Have forbidden” has already been shown to be correct. However, “have forbade” is incorrect because the simple past tense (forbade) cannot be included with any other verbs when we want to use it correctly. Only the past participle works in this way.

  • Correct: I have forbidden entry to this area, so please stay away.
  • Incorrect: We have forbade you from attempting this again.

Final Thoughts

“Forbade” and “forbidden” both work as the past tense of “forbid” in their own right. Remember that “forbade” is the simple past tense, where no extra measures need to be taken. “Forbidden” is the past participle, where an auxiliary verb is expected.

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