Sometimes, past participle forms of verbs don’t follow the usual rules you’d expect (where you add “-ed” to the end of it). In the case of using “quit” or “quitted,” this rule seems to be even more confusing. Let’s look at the past tense for “quit” and how to use it.
What Is The Past Tense For “Quit”?
The past tense for “quit” is “quit” and “quitted,” but “quit” is by far the most popular and recognized choice. Everyone uses “quit” in the past tense (i.e., “I quit my job last week”). “Quitted” is more commonly used synonymously with “left” (i.e., “I quitted my city and never returned”).
According to The Collins Dictionary, both “quit” and “quitted” are correct. They are both past participle verbs relating to the infinitive “to quit.” It seems more common for “quitted” to be used in British English. However, the popularity of “quitted” has diminished over time.
Historical Development In The Usage Of Quit And Quitted
We can go right back to the early 1800s to see how the two words varied in usage in history.
If you look at this graph, you’ll see that both words were commonplace in the 1800s. However, they both slowly began to fall off in popularity towards the end of the 1800s, which is about the time that “quit” leveled off, while “quitted” continued to fall.
Now, it’s rare ever to hear anybody use or write the word “quitted” in any form. Its most closely related synonym is “left,” but otherwise, it doesn’t get used unless it’s in formal literature.
What Is The Past Perfect Of Quit?
While “quit” has two varying past participle forms, with one being more popular than the other, it only has one past perfect form.
Generally, we use the past perfect after an auxiliary verb like “have” or “was.” In the case of “quit,” we’d almost always use “have” or “had” before it.
The past perfect of “quit” is “quit.” The sentence, “I have quit my job,” is correct.
How To Use “Quitted” In A Sentence
There are times where quitted may still be used, although they are very rare (and usually only in the most formal circumstances).
The most common time to use “quitted” is when you’re replacing the word “left” in a sentence (as in physically leaving a place or person).
- I quitted my city and never returned.
- I quitted my wife after I heard about what she did.
- They quitted me as soon as they got the chance.
- I quitted the country and returned a hero.
- My parents quitted me long ago.
- You’ve quitted your hometown, and now you’re lost.
- I feel like everyone has quitted me.
- We quitted the country together.
As you can see from these examples, “quitted” is not a common word to see in any form of writing. However, if you replace “quitted” in each example with the verb “left,” you’ll see what we mean about the being synonymous with each other.
Common Mistakes With “Quit” And “Quitted”
There are a couple of common mistakes that it’s good to know about when making sure you use “quit” or “quitted” right. Generally, “quitted” is only used in the case of physically leaving a place or a person.
“Quit” means to either choose to leave something or to stop doing an activity. The following examples show you when quit is appropriate and when quitted is not.
- Correct:I quit my job on Thursday and haven’t looked back since.
- Incorrect:I quitted my job, and now I regret my decision.
- Correct:I’d like to get an education, but I quit school when I was young and stupid.
- Incorrect:I quitted school early in life, and now I’m struggling to pick up the pieces.
- Correct:I quit smoking for the last month, but it’s harder than it looks.
- Incorrect:I quitted smoking for about three weeks, but I failed after that and am back to the habit.
As you can see, in these examples, we’re choosing to give up or stop doing an activity or thing. When we’re talking about school or work, we always “quit” when we’re talking about stopping them. The same applies to the activity of “smoking” and other habits that need quitting.