Difference between Spend and Spent

Which of these sentences seem to be correct to you? “Did you spend your money?” or “Did you spent your money?” Confused, isn’t it! How are the words ‘spend’ and ‘spent’ different from one another? When can one use the word ‘spent’ and ‘spend’ in a sentence? This article will point out whether ‘spend’ and ‘spent’ are any different from one another. It’s essential that students develop the basic idea of using the correct word for the proper context.

Students often get stuck while using some words in the English Language. The reason being most of these words are either pronounced the same or have similar meanings. Students get easily confused while using these kinds of words. To ensure that students understand how and when to use these words, the following points will be discussed in detail.

Table Summarising the Difference between Spend and Spent




The word spend means to pay out money or use up time to do something.

The word spent means exhausted as well as the past form of the word ‘spend’.


It is used as a Verb.

It is used as a Verb and Adjective.


How do you want to spend your holidays?

He spent all the money he had.

The chart shows that though ‘spent’ is the past form of the verb ‘spend’, neither of them can be used interchangeably or synonymously. Since ‘spent’ is used as the past form of the verb and using it in the place of ‘spend’ will change the meaning of the sentence.

The Difference between Spend and Spent – Meaning

There are two points of difference between the words ‘spend’ and ‘spent’. Firstly the word ‘spend’ is used as a verb which means to pay out money or use up time to do something. For example, “Please spend some time reading books.” Here, ‘spend’ is used to mean to use up or devote time for reading books. The word ‘spend’ is the present base form of the verb itself. Secondly, the word ‘spent’ though refers to the past and past participle form of the word ‘spend’ it can be used as a verb as well as an adjective. When used as an adjective, ‘spent’ refers to exhaustion or fatigue. For example, “Helen’s energy was spent on doing exercises.” The examples below will clear any doubts one might have about these words.

Examples of Spend and Spent

Let’s go through the given examples of ‘spend’ and ‘spent’ to understand the concept clearly.

Spend – Children should not spend a lot of time in front of the television or mobile phones. (verb)

Spent – i) Clive spent all his money on gambling. (verb)

ii) All of his energy was spent mowing the lawn. (adjective)

These examples will help the students understand the difference between the words ‘spend’ and ‘spent’, and it becomes easier to apply them in the proper context.

Spend and Spent – Conclusion

Summing up, both the words ‘spend’ and ‘spent’ aren’t synonymous and can’t be used interchangeably even though the latter is the past form of the former. Just while using the words, one has to understand the context of the sentence. BYJU’S offers various articles on many such ‘differences between two words’ that students often get confused with.

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