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What’s the Past Tense of Win? (Win vs. Won)

The verb, to win, is present tense. Win only has two forms: win and won. Won is the past simple and past participle.

Win/won in context (in conversation).
Win/won in context (in conversation).

What’s the past tense of “win”? ‍

The verb to win has one past tense verb form, which is is won (pronounced like one). Won is the only past tense and past participle form of the present tense verb, win.  Whether we use won in the simple past vs. as a past participle, it remains unchanged, and is simply won.

Verb conjugations: win/won

The verb to win is defined by the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary as “to be the most successful in a competition, race, battle, etc.: ‘He wins the prize every year” (third-person present singular).

simpleI winI wonI will win
continuousI am winningI was winningI will be winning
perfectI have wonI had wonI will have won
perfect continuousI have been winningI had been winningI will have been winning
Tenses of ‘win‘.

1. To win is in the present tense: He has yet to win a major tournament.

2. Won is in the simple past: The Raptors won the game.

3. Won is the past participle: You have won me over.‍

Win vs. Won: what’s the difference?

What differentiates the past simple tense from the past participle form of the verb, to win? Let’s have a look:

Past tense: He won the race yesterday.

Past participle: The trophy had been won by a different team last year.

Notice how the participle form of the verb, won, uses an auxiliary/helping verb, such as has/have/had. To create the past perfect tense, use had + past participle, won.The auxiliary had indicates that it’s the past participial form of the verb and not the simple past tense.

base verbpast tensepast participle
spitspat spat
loselost lost

The verb win used in sentences

1. Does he have what it takes to win the Tour?

2. She entered election day in a strong position to win.

3. He has yet to win a major tournament.

4. I never win at tennis.

5. We hope the party will win by a landslide. (future tense)

Examples of the word won used in sentences

1. He won a scholarship to study at Stanford.

2. When was the last time our country won the World Cup?

3. Yesterday, I won.

4. The Yankees won the game.

5. I won at poker.

Examples of the word won used in sentences

1. I had won every single game.

2. The Jays had won all their games this season

3. You have won the prize every year.

4. Eric had won the game since Michael forfeited.

5. You have won me over.

Synonyms of win/won

  • conquered
  • gained
  • triumphed
  • prevailed
  • succeeded
  • overcame

‍Phrases with ‘win’

in it to win itliteral; to participate in order to place first, or ‘win’.
the house always wins“a casino (the “house”) functions in such a manner that it will always maintain a profit”.
you win some, you lose someoften said as a consolation to someone who’s lost at something.
slow and steady wins the racepersistence and diligence (while may be slow) will get you where you want to go eventually
play silly games, win stupid prizesif you participate in foolish competitions you will gain foolish outcomes
win by a hair’s breadthto come in first, or ‘win’ albeit very marginally
to win by a landslideto win by a considerable degree or to a great extent
what wins on Sunday sells on Monday when people see what succeeds they want to be a part of it
to win (something) fair and squareto come out on top in a way that’s legitimate and honest
can’t win ’em allsimilar to “win some, lose some”, meaning, you can’t get everything you want

Origin of the verb, win

‍From etymology online on win (v.):

Old English winn “labor, toil; strife, conflict; profit, gain,” from the source of win (v.). Modern sense of “a victory in a game or contest” is first attested 1862, from the verb.

Read about other verb forms


  1. Etymology online, the origin of win.
  2. Definition of win from Oxford Learner’s Dictionary.

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