We all know what it means to RSVP, but what do you call it when you did RSVP in the past? Do you say that you “RSVP’d” or “RSVPed”?
In this post, we will discuss the correct past tense version of RSVP.
What Is the Past Tense of RSVP?
The correct past tense form of RSVP is “RSVP’d”. This is because, when an acronym must be put into past tense, an apostrophe and a “d” is added to avoid confusion on pronunciation of the acronym. “RSVPed” could confuse people on how to say it, so it is not used.
Well, maybe we shouldn’t say that it isn’t used. But it shouldn’t be used. Some people might write “RSVPed”, but they really shouldn’t. It both looks weird and can be somewhat confusing.
Since most acronyms put into past tense just use an apostrophe and a “d”, most people will expect to see that with RSVP as well. All of that said, most people just wouldn’t try and put “RSVP” into past tense in the first place. It’s much easier to just say “I replied” or “I responded”.
This is the correct way to write RSVP in past tense. Adding an apostrophe and a single “d” to the end of an acronym is the most common way to turn any acronym into past tense. This even ignores the full logical phrase (if you spelled out the acronym). It’s what people are used to.
The reason this is done is because an apostrophe lets the reader know that the “d” is not part of the acronym itself, and that the word is an acronym that does not have its own dedicated past tense form (because an acronym is actually many words, they can’t all be in past tense, logically).
- After we received our invitation, we RSVP’d as quickly as possible.
- I hope the Johnsons RSVP’d by the deadline.
- We should have RSVP’d when we had the chance.
This is not the correct way to write RSVP in past tense. That’s because acronyms are not actual words, they are just shorthand for several words together. Because of this, you cannot convert the acronym to past tense like you would an actual, single word.
Instead, you must use an apostrophe and a “d”. This avoids any confusion on how the acronym is pronounced and also lets the reader know that it is an acronym, not a single word in past tense. We have some examples below, but keep in mind that they are all incorrect:
- Incorrect: The family RSVPed after they were asked to on their invitation.
- Incorrect: We are happy to say that we RSVPed already.
- Incorrect: They RSVPed as soon as they got the chance.
This would be an absolutely incorrect way to put RSVP in past tense. Nowhere in the English language is an apostrophe followed up by “ed”. That’s just not the way we do it.
After all, if you were going to do that, what would the apostrophe be needed for? It’s not shortening anything in this case.
“RSVPd” would imply that the “d” is part of the acronym, and not a means of converting the acronym into past tense. For this reason, it is incorrect and should never be used when trying to write RSVP in past tense.
The correct form is “RSVP’d”.
Other Ways to Use RSVP in the Past Tense
If you feel that using “RSVP” in past tense is weird (because it is, actually), you may be wondering if there are other ways to say the same thing. Thankfully, there are. You can either use other words entirely or use context to imply that your RSVP was in the past.
RSVP is a formal request of someone to “please reply” to an invitation. This means you can say you “RSVP’d” simply with the following:
- We replied to the invitation.
- I responded to the invitation.
- They answered the invitation.
These simple words do a much better job of getting your point across, without you having to say anything odd. After all, to “RSVP” just means to reply or respond to something, so it’s much more sensible to just say that.
Still, if you want to use “RSVP” specifically in the sentence, there are still other ways to make it past tense. These other methods are mostly reliant on the rest of the sentence conveying past tense, rather than the acronym “RSVP” itself. Consider the following examples:
- We did RSVP already.
- We sent our RSVP earlier.
- Our RSVP was delivered yesterday.
- We already gave you our RSVP.
All of these sound a little clunky. That’s because “RSVP” really wasn’t meant to be used in past tense at all. If you want to sound as natural as possible when writing or speaking, it’s better just to use words like “replied” or “responded” when considering the past tense of RSVP.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.