Do you know the difference between burned and burnt? Maybe you have seen them used in a book or article, and don’t understand when to use burned and when to use burnt.
Let’s start with the definitions:
Burned: the past participle and past tense of burn, or to be harmed by fire or heat
Burnt: means the same as burned
Both words actually mean the same thing, and can be verbs or adjectives.
The difference between the two words is that burned is typically used in American English, and burnt is usually used in British works.
If Max accidentally burns the toast, he burned it if he lives in the United States, but burnt it if he lives in the United Kingdom.
For most sentences and phrases, the two words can be used interchangeably. It does not matter which you choose to use. If you use one or the other, tailor it to your intended audience.
However, this is not always the case.
Burnt is sometimes used as the adjective form of the word; there are some phrases in which only burnt is used, regardless of whether the speaker is American or British.
Some of these examples include the color
- burnt orange (a dark orange, like a mixture between orange and brown),
or the phrase
- burnt to a crisp (something that is thoroughly burned).
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