Hid or Hidden? Difference Explained (Helpful Examples)

The past tense of “hide” isn’t as difficult as you might first believe. While it comes with two different forms, we can easily distinguish the two with a little assistance. This article will help you to figure out the two meanings.

Hid or Hidden: Which Is Correct?

“Hid” is the simple past tense of the verb “to hide,” while “hidden” is the past participle of the same verb. They are both correct forms, and we can use either one depending on the context of the sentence. “Hidden” only works with a verb like “have” before it, though.

Hid or Hidden: Which Is Correct?
  • You hid for a long time before we found you!
  • I have hidden the secrets that you crave somewhere in this building.

These are the forms we’ll be using in this article:

Past ParticipleHidden
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When Is “Hid” Correct?

“Hid” is the simple past tense. We refer to it as “simple” because it’s the easiest past tense form to use.

“Hid” is correct when trying to talk about “hiding” in the past. We often use this form to think back to a situation where we or someone else “hid” something. It works to reminisce, but there’s nothing more that our actions at present can do to change it.

“Hid” will always stay the same form, no matter what pronoun we write alongside. This is different from how most present tense verbs interact with pronouns (i.e., “I hide” or “she hides”).

  • I hid
  • She hid
  • We hid
  • He hid

Example Sentences Using “Hid”

Since “hid” is the easier one to use, we’ll go through some quick examples to show it to you in action.

  1. You hid a lot of secrets from all of us.
  2. I wish I never hid from you!
  3. We hid our stash before the police could find it.
  4. They hid in the cupboard, but it didn’t take long for me to find them.
  5. She hid it all because they told her to.
  6. You hid the only thing that was important to me!

“Hid” works when talking about “hiding” something in the past. We use it when we want to show that the action has already passed, and there is nothing more that we can do about that action in the present.

When Is “Hidden” Correct?

“Hidden” is the past participle of “to hide.” For that reason, it requires a little extra thought than the simple past tense does.

“Hidden” is only correct when an auxiliary verb is present. We can use a verb like “have” to turn the phrase into “have hidden,” which is the present perfect tense. There are three perfect tenses we can use (past, present, and future).

It would help to understand how each of these tenses works, so you can refer to the following:

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

As you can see, the verb form of “hidden” never changes. We always keep it the same when we want to use any perfect tense.

However, the form of “have” does change based on the tense. We can use the past tense “had” when writing with the past perfect tense, and the future perfect tense adds “will” to the phrase to show that something “will” happen at some point.

Example sentences using “Hidden”

Since “hidden” requires an auxiliary verb, we’ll split this part into sections. We will cover each perfect tense for you, so you have a better understanding of how each of them works.

Past Perfect

  1. I had hidden my child from the authorities before they came to check on me.
  2. You had hidden for long enough until I told you it was a bad idea.

“Had hidden” works when talking about someone “hiding” in the past. Generally, that action happened before another action in the past, and we use the past perfect tense to show the order of how these things went down.

Present Perfect

  1. You have hidden your secrets from me for long enough, and it’s time I learn about them.
  2. They have hidden in the same spot every time we play, and I tire of it!

“Have hidden” works when talking about someone starting to “hide” in the past. However, the action continues into the present, or it could end at present too, based on the context of the sentence.

Future Perfect

  1. You will have hidden everything from them before they get it, right?
  2. She will have hidden me away for far too long if I let her keep this up!

“Will have hidden” works when someone will “hide” something in the future. While it hasn’t happened yet, there’s almost a guarantee that this event will occur, and it’s usually related to our present actions.

How “Hidden” can also be used as an adjective

“Hidden” isn’t just the past participle of “to hide.” We can also use it in a similar way when writing it as an adjective. In this way, “hidden” becomes a descriptive word for us to use.

As an adjective, “hidden” means that something is kept out of sight or concealed. It often takes extra thought or investigation before someone realizes that something is “hidden.”

Example sentences using “Hidden” as an adjective

  1. The hidden meaning behind this message is clear!
  2. There is a hidden part to this plan that we can’t work out!
  3. What are the hidden dangers present here?

“Have Hid” Vs. “Have Hidden”

We’ve already made it clear that “Have hidden” is correct. After all, it’s the present perfect tense, which is a very common tense to use in most cases. What about using an auxiliary verb with “hid,” though?

“Have hid” is incorrect because we cannot place two verbs next to each other in this way. The auxiliary verb of “have” cannot go with the simple past tense of “hid” in any case. Only “have hidden” is correct.

Here’s how you can remember that:

  • Correct: I have hidden my belongings from them.
  • Incorrect: You have hid from the world for too long.

Final Thoughts

“Hid” and “hidden” are the two acceptable forms for the past tense of “to hide.” However, “hid” is the simple past tense, and “hidden” is the past participle. We need to make sure we use auxiliary verbs with “hidden” when using the perfect tenses.

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