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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Is the spelling learnt or learned?

OK. This is one where I’ll stand corrected. Until writing this article I’d previously researched and found the spelling learnt was the preferred Australian English spelling, except for the usage of learned for a person with much knowledge pronounced “learn-ed”.  But today that changes. Our language changes over time and at times that means we need to change as well.

When it comes to the spelling of learnt or learned, in the usage such as “I learnt/learned to drive”, the preferred spelling in Australia is learned.

If you check The Australian Oxford Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary for the entry “learn”, you’ll find learned appears before learnt in both. The positioning of the word in the entry indicates the preferred usage in Australia.

To confirm the usage in Australia, a search of Google for sites ending in .au (Australian sites), for a phrase such as “l learned to drive” and “I learnt to drive”, returns over 90% of articles using learned compared to learnt.

After reading this article you’ll be able to claim you’re learned in the terms learnt and learned.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

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