This question has been answered · 23 replies
The dog leaped onto the table.
The dog leapt onto the table.
Approved answer (verified by Mister Micawber)
Today, both forms are frequently used in American publications, while British publications nearly always tend to favour leapt.
Tim Strudwick (UK)
But I notice there are roughly equal hits for each on Google.
"Neither is unacceptable," says my boss, a magazine editor.
(The Economist Style Guide, 10th ed. Profile Books, 2010)
"The dog leapt onto the table" (simple past)
"The dog had leaped onto the table" (present perfect)
"The dog had leaped onto the table" (past perfect)
I can't figure out whether these changes were implicit in Webster's new rules of spelling (1828), or if they have since creeped into usage. (NB creeped, not crept!) I speak English as a first language with what the Americans call a British accent, although I'm an African who has never been to England. Whilst teaching English in Mexico (with several U.S. American colleagues), I found American English very lacking in vowel difference - I blame Webster directly for this. (Reading "color" instead of "colour", etc: I pronounce the "our" at the end of "colour" and "valour" differently to the way I pronounce the "or" at the end of "motor", "rector" etc.) However, with reference to this question, the above is a concise explanation that they are not the same and that there is indeed a difference in pronounciation if the intention is to enunciate clearly.
Leaped - leep'd
Leapt - lep't
So it's purely cosmetic. The magazine editor that said both were incorrect needs to return to school to study English. There is no other way to say "leap" in the past tense without using a different word altogether.
Leapt is still in everyday use. However, its use is archaic. Leaped is modern. The "~ed" of a word is pronounced differently depending on region. Consequently, "~t" is the linguistic equivelant of "~ed." As per my pronounciation notation above, it is up to you as to which to use with writing.
M.F.A. - Creative Writing
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