Why We Use “Read” Instead of “Readed” (Pronounced “Red”)

The past tense form of “read” can be tricky for most. Even native speakers can sometimes struggle with it when it’s written down. After all, “read” is the past tense of “read.” They look the same, but they’re pronounced differently. This article will explore why it’s used instead of “reader.”

Why We Use “Read” Instead of “Readed”?

“Read” is an irregular verb, which means it does not have to follow standard verb rules when written in the past tense. While regular verb rules would make “read” turn into “readed,” these rules do not apply because irregular verb forms make their own rules.


Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things you have to learn. There are plenty of other irregular verb forms out there that ignore the addition of “-ed” in the past tense. For example:

  • Drive and drove
  • Drink and drank
  • Eat and ate
  • Fall and fell

The list goes on, but we’ll leave it there.

As you can see from the list, though, there isn’t a distinct rule that can be made out of the chosen irregular verbs. They simply do not follow the regular verb trend where an “-ed” is added to the end of the verb.

The more you familiarize yourself with nuances like this, the better you’ll get at them. It takes time, but you’ll get there with enough practice.

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Is “Readed” a Word?

“Readed” is not a word. It is not grammatically correct in any sense. The only time someone might use it is if they’ve misunderstood the correct past tense form of “to read.” You should never add an “-ed” to the end of an irregular verb like this.

To help you understand why it’s wrong, you can refer to these examples:

  • Correct: I have read all of these books already. I don’t want to read them again.
  • Incorrect: She has readed them all, and she would like you to present her with a new challenge.
  • Correct: You have not read these yet. I can tell you haven’t because the spine isn’t even bent.
  • Incorrect: I readed a lot when I was a kid. That’s why I’m so good at grammar.

Why Is “Read” Pronounced “Red” In the Past Tense

“Read” is pronounced “red” in the past tense because it helps to separate it from the present tense form. “Read” in the present tense is pronounced “reed,” where the “E” sound is drawn out to help establish a difference between the two verb forms.

This is done to limit the confusion between the two words. With spoken English, it is necessary to have clear differences between sounds like this to help someone understand what tense you’re referring to.

In written English, the spellings can stay the same because it’s easy to work out the pronunciation through the context. It’s only spoken English that requires the two tenses to have different sounds.

How to Use the Past Tense of “Red” In a Sentence

  1. I had already read those books, which is why I thought it was better that I returned them to the library.
  2. He read a lot of books when he was little. I think you’ll find that he’s picked up a lot of vocabulary from them.
  3. I don’t think he read much when he was younger. You can really tell that he struggles to pick up on a lot of things.
  4. I’m well read because of how much time I spent with my nose in a book as a kid. It really wasn’t that hard.
  5. If you read as much as you spoke, you would have ended up being the smartest one of your siblings. Just saying.
  6. I have read almost every book in this section of the library. I don’t have a lot of time for anything else, though.
  7. You will have read a lot more than I if you keep us at this pace. I’m quite surprised that you’re able to get through as much as that.

Final Thoughts

“Read” is the only correct past tense form of “read,” and it is pronounced “red” to help establish a clear difference. You should never use “readed” because “to read” is not a regular verb form. It does not follow the standard and “expected” rules of verb tense changes.