Learnt or Learned - Are irregular verbs outdated?

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xDave-
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#1
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There is a large group of English speakers that don't use the -t irregular verb form. They speak American English.

Then there's this other group and they seem to be split on whether or not to use it, and these are the British English users. In British English, you say burnt, dreamt, spoilt, smelt, etc. Yet a lot of the speakers here, on a predominantly British forum, use burned, dreamed, spoiled, smelled. A lot of them say "you can use either" when asked, but you don't see these same people talking about colors (colours) and checks (cheques).

So why is this? Are the irregular verbs just too hard to remember or are we consciously succumbing to an aspect of American English that seems simpler. I mean, the web is mostly American English, so doesn't it make sense we'll eventually speak it?
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L'Evil Fish
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I hadn't learnt the difference between the two up until now, but now I know, it'll always be -t.

Smelled just reads wrong to me, and should be smelt.

But yeah, we probably will succumb to American English.
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Mazzini
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(Original post by xDave-)
There is a large group of English speakers that don't use the -t irregular verb form. They speak American English.

Then there's this other group and they seem to be split on whether or not to use it, and these are the British English users. In British English, you say burnt, dreamt, spoilt, smelt, etc. Yet a lot of the speakers here, on a predominantly British forum, use burned, dreamed, spoiled, smelled. A lot of them say "you can use either" when asked, but you don't see these same people talking about colors (colours) and checks (cheques).

So why is this? Are the irregular verbs just too hard to remember or are we consciously succumbing to an aspect of American English that seems simpler. I mean, the web is mostly American English, so doesn't it make sense we'll eventually speak it?
You can use both in British English - I believe "learned" is more recent past (e.g. "I have just learned about the Battle of Stalingrad for my test next week") whereas "learnt" denotes an action further in the past ("last week, I learnt about the Battle of Stalingrad for my test").
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MidnightDream
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I use learnt more often than learned, I didn't know the difference till now
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xDave-
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(Original post by Mazzini)
You can use both in British English - I believe "learned" is more recent past (e.g. "I have just learned about the Battle of Stalingrad for my test next week") whereas "learnt" denotes an action further in the past ("last week, I learnt about the Battle of Stalingrad for my test").
That's incorrect, I'm afraid. There's no distinction between different lengths of time by the past tense. The past tense of "learn" in British English is always "learnt". The past participle is also always "learnt" (e.g. I have learnt). American English just substitutes these for "learned", as with many other words.

"Learned" is another word in English though, an adjective (e.g. a learned individual). It's pronounced /ˈləːnɪd/ (or learn-id).
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S1elyak1
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I use learnt but I have a couple of American friends that use learned etc. Learned just sounds like something a 5 year old would say.
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