Strived or Strove – What Is the Past Tense of Strive?

Marcus Froland

Many people find themselves scratching their heads when it comes to the English language. It’s filled with rules that seem to make sense until they don’t. Today, we’re tackling one of those moments that might have caused you a bit of a headache: the past tense of strive. Is it strived or strove? It sounds simple, but the answer might surprise you.

English is a language that loves to keep us on our toes. While some verbs follow a regular pattern, others like to break the mold and go their own way. That’s exactly what we see with the verb strive. So, let’s clear up the confusion and set the record straight on how to use this word in the past tense.

The past tense of strive can be either strived or strove. Both forms are correct, but their usage depends on the context and the preference of the speaker or writer. Strived is more commonly used in modern English, especially in American English. On the other hand, strove is often found in literary works and is preferred in British English. It’s important to note that the past participle form of strive can also be either strived or striven, with “striven” being more formal. When choosing which form to use, consider the style and tone of your writing or speech.

Understanding the Past Tense of Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs, such as strive, demand a unique approach when it comes to understanding their past tense forms. Unlike regular verbs, which follow consistent conjugation rules, irregular verbs have their own set of conjugation patterns that can’t be predicted by general guidelines. Let’s dive into the world of irregular verb families and how they play a role in English conjugation.

The Irregular Verb Family and English Conjugation

Belonging to a verb family can make it easier to remember the correct forms of irregular verbs. While regular verbs conform to a typical pattern, irregular verbs like strive often share conjugation traits with other verbs in their family. This similarity can be helpful when attempting to remember their various tenses.

In order to master the proper use of irregular verbs, you may need to rely on memorization or mnemonic devices.

Simple Past Tense: Usage in American English

When we fully examine the strive conjugation in American English, we see that “strove” is the preferred form for the simple past tense. To recap, here’s a summary of the various tenses:

  • Present: strive
  • Simple Past: strove
  • Past Participle: striven
  • Present Participle: striving
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By recognizing these conjugations and understanding the irregular nature of verbs like strive, you can enhance your overall English communication abilities.

Defining ‘Strived’ and ‘Strove’

As you learn more about the irregular verbs, it is important to know the difference between strived and strove. The meaning of strove refers to someone who worked diligently to achieve a goal in the past. Common examples of strove include:

  • Athletes who strove to break personal records.
  • Students who strove to attain high grades.
  • Inventors who strove to create groundbreaking technologies.

On the other hand, the strived definition refers to the same desired outcome but indicates a less accurate way of expressing the simple past tense of strive. Although it is used by some, strived is considered an incorrect conjugation by most usage authorities, who favor strove and striven for the past tense and past participle forms, respectively.

“It is better to have strove and lost than never to have strove at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson (adapted)

By appreciating these distinctions, you can effectively harness the power of language and write with confidence and flair. In the next section, we’ll explore the fascinating historical context behind ‘strive’ and its evolution over time.

The Evolution of ‘Strive’ in Historical Context

Through the years, the historical evolution of strive has seen its conjugations and overall usage adapt to language trends and grammar preferences. Although ‘strove’ and ‘striven’ are considered the classic past tense and past participle conjugations, their prevalence in the English language has declined since the late 19th century, indicating a diminishing popularity of the verb ‘strive’ itself.

A Look at Language Trends and Grammar Preferences

As our understanding of linguistics evolved, so too did the way we use conjugations. In the past, ‘strove’ was the preferred choice for the simple past tense, and ‘striven’ was widely accepted as its past participle. However, the last few decades witnessed an increasing acceptance of ‘strived’ as a past participle, even though it is not considered standard.

Strove once enjoyed widespread use, but more recent language trends have seen a rise in the use of ‘strived’ as a past participle. Despite this shift, it is crucial to recognize the continued preference for ‘strove’ and ‘striven’ among grammar purists and in formal writing.

Here are some factors that contributed to the changes in the usage of ‘strive’ and its conjugations:

  1. Neologisms: New words and expressions entering the language can indirectly impact the usage of existing words. As these neologisms gain popularity, older terms like “strive” may see a decrease in usage.
  2. Variation in Grammar Styles: Grammar preferences are more fluid than ever before, and many non-standard conjugations have been embraced in informal contexts, leading to more variations in linguistic usage.
  3. Language Simplification: Over time, languages tend to simplify. In this case, many speakers have gravitated towards ‘strived’ as it follows the conventional pattern of regular verbs, making it easier to remember and use.
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Understanding the historical evolution of strive allows you to better adapt your writing and speaking to the shifting language trends while continuing to prioritize grammar preferences when necessary. Embracing the flexibility in language usage while keeping an eye on the fundamentals ensures you stay up-to-date and communicate effectively with your audience.

‘Strived’ vs. ‘Strove’: Which Should You Use?

When it comes to the correct usage of the past tense of strive, both ‘strived’ and ‘strove’ have a long history in the English language. Although ‘strove’ has traditionally been considered the standard past tense form, ‘strived’ is not uncommon in modern English writing. So, how do you choose between strived or strove for your past tense selection?

Strive is an irregular verb, which means its conjugation is not as straightforward as regular verbs. While usage authorities may prefer ‘strove’ as the past tense form, ‘strived’ has gained some acceptance in recent years. So, it is essential to understand the context in which you are writing and the preferences of your audience before making your choice.

Both ‘strived’ and ‘strove’ have long histories as the past tense of strive, with examples from different eras showing both forms in use.

If you’re writing in a formal setting or want to adhere to traditional grammar rules, opt for ‘strove.’ However, if you’re working in a more casual or modern context, ‘strived’ might be an acceptable choice. Keep in mind, though, that some readers might still consider it nonstandard.

When it comes to the past participle of strive, ‘striven’ remains the traditional and widely accepted choice among usage authorities. However, ‘strived’ has gained acceptance as a past participle, leading to some confusion in usage. To avoid potential issues, it’s best to stick with ‘striven’ unless you have a specific reason to use ‘strived.’

  1. Strive (Present tense): You strive for success.
  2. Strove (Simple past tense, traditional): You strove for success.
  3. Strived (Simple past tense, nonstandard): You strived for success.
  4. Striven (Past participle, traditional): You have striven for success.
  5. Strived (Past participle, modern): You have strived for success.
  6. Striving (Present participle): You are striving for success.

Consider the context and your audience when choosing between ‘strived’ and ‘strove’ for the past tense of strive. While ‘strove’ is generally preferred, ‘strived’ can be an acceptable choice in casual or modern writing. However, always be cautious and remember that some readers might still consider it nonstandard.

Mnemonic Devices to Help Remember the Correct Form

Mastering irregular verb conjugations can be a challenge, but using mnemonic devices can make it easier to recall the correct forms. By incorporating rhyme and reason in English conjugation, these memory aids provide a helpful tool for anyone looking to improve their understanding of irregular verbs like ‘strive’.

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One such mnemonic device involves linking the verb ‘strive’ with its irregular counterpart, ‘drive’. This can help reinforce the association between ‘strive’ and ‘strove’ in the simple past tense, as well as ‘drive’ and ‘drove’. This rhyming pattern can assist you in committing these conjugations to memory, empowering you to use them with ease in both writing and speech.

Similarly, associating the past participle of ‘strive’ with that of ‘drive’ can strengthen your grasp on the correct usage. In this case, the connection between ‘striven’ and ‘driven’ should be established, enabling you to remember their proper forms more effectively. By utilizing these mnemonic devices, you can cultivate a better understanding of irregular verb memory aids and enhance your overall English conjugation skills.

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