Cast vs. Casted – What is the Past Tense of Cast?

English has standard conjugation rules that most verbs follow. These words are called regular verbs.

Not all verbs follow the rules, though. Words that do not follow standard conjugation rules are called irregular verbs, and there is no easy way to tell how they should be conjugated except to memorize them.

Cast is one such verb. Is its past tense cast or casted? Continue reading to learn which form you should use.

What is the Difference Between Cast and Casted?

In this post, I will compare cast vs. casted. I will use each word in at least one example sentence, so you can see how it appears in context.

Plus, I will show you a helpful memory tool that will make it easier to choose cast or casted in your own writing.

When to Use Cast

define casted define castWhat does cast mean? Cast can be a noun or a verb.

As a noun, cast means an object made by shaping molten material in a mold or the actors taking part in a play or movie.

  • After the cast has taken shape, it is removed from the furnace.
  • The cast in this movie is incredible.

As a verb, cast has several meanings. It can mean to throw something, like in these examples,

  • Peter cast his net into the water and waited to catch some fish.
  • The tree cast a long shadow over the stream in the late afternoon sun.

Cast can also mean to shape molten material in a mold.

For example,

  • The queen ordered the blacksmith to cast her a new scepter out of solid gold.

Cast is an irregular verb, so it does not follow the standard rules of English conjugation.

Conjugations of Cast

  • I/we cast: first person singular and plural present
  • You cast: second person singular and plural present
  • He/she/it casts: third person singular present
  • They cast: third person plural present
  • Casting: present participle
  • Cast: simple past/past participle

As a past participle, cast can also function as an adjective, where it modifies a noun, like in the phrase cast iron.

When to Use Casted

What does casted mean? Casted is an incorrect past tense conjugation of the verb cast. It almost never appears in print or edited works of any kind.

cast versus casted

cast verb forms

As you can see in the above chart, which graphs casted vs. cast across time, casted doesn’t even register a blip on the radar for over 200 years.

Bryan Garner, in his book Garner’s Modern English Usage, estimates the disparity in usage between these two words to be 1,484:1. In other words, avoid casted in your writing. It has no use in professional writing of any kind.

Trick to Remember the Difference

You should use cast in all situations. Casted is an improper conjugation that should be avoided.

Since cast rhymes with other past tense verbs like passed and gassed, you can use the rhymes as a reminder that it can function as its own past tense conjugation.

Summary

Is it casted or cast? While it might be tempting to use both of these conjugations in your writing, only one of them is an accepted past tense of cast.

  • Cast is the correct past tense of It is an irregular verb.
  • Casted is an incorrect past tense conjugation of cast.

You should use cast in your writing exclusively.