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What’s the Past Tense of Spread? (Spread? Spreaded?)

Is it spread, spreaded, or sprung ...? If you guessed, 'sprung', you need to flex your grammar muscles more often.

Past tense of spread used in conversation.
Spread” used in conversation.

What’s the past tense of “spread”?

  • The past tense of spread is spread. This is the only past form of spread.

  • Spread is an irregular verb with the same present and past tense form.

  • Spreaded is often mistaken as the past tense of spread. Most view spreaded as an error and a nonstandard variant; it’s best to avoid “spreaded” and stick to spread as the past tense and past participial forms.

Forms of “spread”

simpleI spreadI spreadI will spread
continuousI am spreadingI was spreadingI will be spreading
perfectI have spreadI had spreadI will have spread
perfect continuousI have been spreadingI had been spreadingI will have been spreading
Tenses of ‘spread‘.

Irregular verbs (with one past tense conjugation)

Certain verbs, like spread, show no change between their present and past tense verb forms. For this reason, spread and other similar verbs are irregular. Regular verbs add “-ed” to denote the past tense. Irregular verbs end in something other than “-ed” in the past tense, such as spread.

When verbs appear identical in both the past and present tense, how we’ determine tense is by paying attention to the other grammatical aspects in the same sentence (as demonstrated by the chart above). See the chart of other verbs with one form in the present/past tense.

base verbpast tensepast participle
burstburst burst
betbet bet
shutshut sunk
hithit hit
Irregular verbs (with one present, past and past participle form).

Sentences with “spread” (present tense)

She spreads cream cheese on her bagel every morning.

The wildfire spreads rapidly through the dry forest.

The news spreads like a virus on social media.

He spreads fertilizer in the garden to help the plants grow.

The student spreads out all the materials before starting the project.

Sentence examples with “spread” (past tense)

Last week, they spread a layer of mulch in the garden.

The disease spread to neighbouring towns before it was contained.

She spread a blanket on the beach and watched the suns go down.

We spread a layer of icing on the freshly baked cake.

He spread the map out on the table to plan the road trip.

Examples with “spread” (past participle)

The virus has spread uncontrollably in recent weeks.

The message has been spread to raise awareness about the cause.

The butter should be spread evenly on the toast.

The news had already spread to all corners of the city.

They found the disease had spread further than they had anticipated.

Practice questions: forms of ‘spread’

QuestionsAnswer options:
1. True or false:

“Spread” has both a regular and irregular verb form.
a. true
b. false
2. “Spreaded” is a nonstandard variant and misspelling of the past tense of “spread”.a. true
b. false
3. Choose the tense the sentence is written in:

The disease spreads easily.
a. past simple
b. present tense
c. present perfect continuous
4. The sentence is in what tense:

I wish he would stop spreading lies about me.
a. simple past
b. present continuous
c. past perfect
5. The sentence is in what tense:

The news had spread and was causing great excitement.
a. present perfect
b. present continuous
c. past perfect
6. Select the tense the sentence is in:

The disease is spread by mosquitoes.
a. present perfect
b. past continuous
c. present simple


  1. b
  2. a
  3. b
  4. b
  5. c
  6. c

Phrases with “spread”

To be spread too thinto be overworked or overwhelmed by too many tasks or having to much to do
Spread on thickto embellish or overstate a response
To spread/cast a wide netto open yourself to a variety of options
To spread like wildfirefor something to catch on extremely fast
Ill news spreads apacebad news spreads quickly
Spread your wingsto live independently and explore life’s opportunities

Read on other topics in grammar


  1. “spread.” 2023. Farlex, Inc. 20 Dec. 2023

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