Dreamed or Dreamt | Definition, Difference & Example Sentences

Dreamt and dreamed are two different spellings of the past tense of the verb ‘dream’, used to refer to the act of experiencing thoughts or images while asleep or to the act of fantasising while awake. The spelling tends to vary based on whether you are using UK or US English:

  • In UK English, both ‘dreamed’ and ‘dreamt’ are commonly used.
  • In US English, ‘dreamed’ is standard (though ‘dreamt’ is still acceptable).
Examples: Dreamt and dreamed in a sentence
Katja dreamt/dreamed that she had superpowers.

Lionel dreamt/dreamed about a talking lamp.

When I was young, I dreamt/dreamed of becoming a famous musician.

Vanessa never dreamt/dreamed that she would be so successful.

Verbs that form their past tense in some way other than adding ‘-ed’ are called irregular verbs. ‘Dream’ can be either regular or irregular, with the irregular form showing up more often in UK English than in US English. The same is true of ‘learnt/learned‘.

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Dreamed up or dreamt up

Dreamed up/dreamt up is the past tense of the phrasal verb ‘dream up’, meaning ‘imagine’ or ‘concoct’. It’s typically used to refer to an idea or plan that’s unusual or unlikely. It means the same whether it is written with the regular ‘-ed’ ending or the irregular ‘-t’ ending.

Examples: Dreamed up and dreamt up in a sentence
Don’t believe Tom; that story is just something he dreamt/dreamed up.

Naomi dreamt/dreamed up a crazy scheme for getting rich.

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If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.


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Ryan, E. (2023, September 25). Dreamed or Dreamt | Definition, Difference & Example Sentences. Scribbr. Retrieved 18 June 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/uk-vs-us/dreamed-or-dreamt/

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.