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Word comparisons

Note 88 – Lead, led and leaded

Today’s blog was a request from a work colleague and after a little research I am very clear on how to use these words now.   The most important clarification to me is that the verb to lead always has a past tense spelt led (not lead).  The rest is quite easy to remember.

To summarise, the word lead (pronounced leed and rhymes with bead) can be a verb, noun or adjective; however the past tense of the verb to lead, is led (which rhymes with red).  This sometimes gets confused with the noun lead (pronounced red) which is the lead in a pencil or a soft grey metal.  To makes things a little clearer, I have prepared some examples:

1. Verb – to lead [pronounced seed and rhymes with bead]

Definition: to guide

Present tense [pronounced seed and rhymes with bead]

  • I lead a project team
  • The path leads to a little stream

Past tense [pronounced led and rhymes with red]

  • I led a project team
  • The path led to a little stream

Important note: the past tense of the verb to lead is always led but never lead

2. Noun – lead [pronounced seed and rhymes with bead]

As well as the verb to lead, there is the noun lead which has many meanings.  One meaning being ‘first’ or ‘principle place’ (as in first example below) and another is a name for a ‘leash’ (as in the second example below):

  • Sean was in the lead in the egg and spoon race
  • The dog had two red leads

3. Adjective – lead [pronounced seed and rhymes with bead]

  • Rosie had the leading role in Cinderella
  • Tom was the lead guitarist in the band

4. Noun – lead [pronounced led and rhymes with red]

  • The lead in the pencil kept breaking after sharpening it
  • There was a hole in the lead pipe
  • The fishing line had a lead weight on the end

5. Adjective – lead [pronounced led and rhymes with red]

  • There were strips of lead holding the panes of glass together [pronounced led and rhymes with red]
  • The replacement windows had traditional leaded lights [pronounced ledded]

That’s all for today.  As always, I am happy to take requests on the subject of grammar/punctuation/writing tips or similar.  

Until tomorrow…


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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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