Burnt vs Burned

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Burnt

Meaning:

past participle of the verb 'burn,' meaning to have been damaged, destroyed, or consumed by fire or great heat.

Examples:

1. The food was so overcooked that it was practically burnt.

2. The firefighters arrived quickly to extinguish the flames, but the house was already extensively burnt.

3. After leaving the casserole in the oven for too long, dinner was sadly overcooked and slightly burnt around the edges.

Burned

Meaning:

past tense of 'burn' meaning to cause to undergo combustion or be destroyed by fire.

Examples:

1. The campfire burned brightly as the children sat around it.

2. She was so angry, she burned the letter without reading it.

3. The house burned to the ground after the fire.

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Synonyms

Antonyms

Burnt

1. Scorched

2. Charred

3. Seared

4. Singed

5. Blackened

1. Fresh

2. Unscorched

3. Intact

4. Cool

5. Unharmed

Burned

1. Scorched

2. Singed

3. Charred

4. Grilled

5. Seared

1. Unburned

2. Frozen

3. Unscorched

4. Inflamed

5. Ignite

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Burnt", "Burned".

1. 'Burnt' is often used as the past participle in British English (e.g., 'The toast was burnt.').

2. 'Burned' is preferred in American English for the past tense and past participle (e.g., 'I burned the toast.' or 'The toast has burned.').

3. While both can technically be used as adjectives, 'burnt' is more commonly employed in this function. Think of set phrases or names like 'burnt orange' or 'burnt sienna.'

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

'Burnt' is the past participle of the verb 'burn' and should be used when describing something that has been damaged, destroyed, or consumed by fire or great heat. For example, 'The toast is burnt.'

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

'Burned' is the past tense of 'burn' and should be used when describing the action of causing something to undergo combustion or be destroyed by fire. For instance, 'He burned the old papers in the fireplace.'

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, 'burnt' and 'burned' do not share the same pronunciation. 'Burnt' is typically pronounced as /bɜːrnt/ with a silent 'n,' while 'burned' is pronounced as /bɜːrnd/ with a distinct 'n' sound.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake is using 'burnt' when referring to the action of burning something, which is the appropriate context for 'burned.' Another error is using 'burned' to describe the state of something after being consumed by fire, where 'burnt' is more suitable. It's important to choose the correct form based on whether you're describing the action or the result of burning.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. I accidentally left the toast in the oven for too long and now its ________.

2. Last night, the woods ________ fiercely, illuminating the sky.

3. She was upset when she realized her favorite photo had ________ in the fire.

4. The candles ________ brightly during the power outage.

5. The sun was so strong that the grass in the park looked ________ and dry.

6. The campfire ________ slowly, casting a warm glow on everyones faces.

1. I accidentally left the toast in the oven for too long and now its burnt.

Explanation: The toast has already been damaged by the fire (or heat), so the past participle burnt is suitable in this context.

2. Last night, the woods burned fiercely, illuminating the sky.

Explanation: The woods undergoing combustion in the past is indicated here, making burned the correct past tense form of burn for this sentence.

3. She was upset when she realized her favorite photo had burnt in the fire.

Explanation: The photo has been destroyed in the fire, so the past participle burnt is the appropriate choice.

4. The candles burned brightly during the power outage.

Explanation: The act of the candles undergoing combustion in the past is depicted in this sentence, so burned fits as the past tense form of burn.

5. The sun was so strong that the grass in the park looked burnt and dry.

Explanation: The grass appears as though it has been damaged by heat, thus the past participle burnt is apt for this context.

6. The campfire burned slowly, casting a warm glow on everyones faces.

Explanation: This sentence portrays the campfire undergoing combustion in the past, which means burned is the right choice.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.