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Past of Plead (Pleaded and Pled)

The Quick Answer
What is the past tense of to plead?

The most acceptable past form of to plead is pleaded, but pled has also become acceptable.

What Is the Past Tense of To Plead? Pleaded or Pled?

The most acceptable past tense of to plead is pleaded, but, through common usage (especially in the US), pled has also become acceptable in both the UK and US conventions. If you're looking for the version that will aggravate the least, opt for pleaded.

To Plead Was a Weak, Regular Verb

To Plead was originally just a weak, regular verb, meaning its past forms were only pleaded (past tense) and has pleaded (past participle).

However, over time, to plead has been treated like a weak, irregular verb, probably because it sounds a lot like to bleed, the past forms of which are bled and has bled.

Here is to plead with some other weak, regular verbs:

Weak VerbSimple Past TensePast ParticipleComment
lovelovedhas lovedregular verb
playplayedhas playedregular verb
pleadpleadedhas pleadedregular verb

Here is to plead with some other weak, irregular verbs:

Weak VerbSimple Past TensePast ParticipleComment
telltoldhas toldirregular verb
bleedbledhas bledirregular verb
pleadpledhas pledirregular verb

Plea Is the Noun

Of note, the noun is plea. For example:
  • He pleads guilty by submitting a guilty plea.
  • (In this example, pleads is a verb in the present tense and plea is a noun.)
Note

What Is a Weak Verb?

A weak verb is one that has a d or t ending for its simple past tense and past participle.

Read more about weak verbs.

What Is a Regular Verb?

A regular verb is one that typically adds -ed or -d to the base form to create the past forms.

Read more about regular verbs.
Read more about irregular verbs.