Send and Sent: Know the Differences and When to Use Which

Send and sent are verbs. As verbs, they denote action. However, many people tend to confuse send and sent. The crux of the send and sent grammar riddle seems to be when do you use each.

Conjugating Verbs

As we mentioned earlier, send and sent are verbs. In fact, send and sent are two different tenses of the same verb.

The infinitive of that verb is “to send”. Remember that a verb is a doing word or a word that denotes action. So both send and sent indicate that an action is taking place.

Actions can take place in the present, or they can take place in the past. The difficult part for most people seems to be recalling what time period you use send and which one you use sent.

Verb Tenses

There are at least 13 verb tenses in the English Language. For our purposes, we are only concerned with two for the moment.

Send is present tense and sent is past tense. Therefore, if you call and ask for somebody to come to you, you send for them. This is in the present tense.

If you committed this action yesterday, it would be in the past, and you’d have to use the past tense. That would be sent.

Therefore, this is answer to the send and sent grammar question. You use send when dealing with the present tense. Sent is used when speaking about the past.

Other Differences Between Send and Sent

More Send and Sent Grammar

Send is generally understood as an instruction to send. Sent implies that the instruction has been carried out.

‘Send’ is the present perfect tense of the verb. Meanwhile, the word ‘sent’ is both the past tense and past participle tense of the verb.

Both Send and Sent have progressive forms. Progressive means that the action is continually happening. It’s just that one is happening in the past and the other, in the present.

Send can be used as an imperative or as an infinitive. Sent can’t be either.

Sent can be used as an adjective. It can also form part of passive voice. This cannot be done with the verb form Send.

Send is the present tense of the verb. However, Sent can act as the past as well as the progressive tense.

Send is to be used before you complete or begin an action. When you have started or ended the action, sent can be used.

Send and sent represent different tenses of the same verb.

“Send” is an irregular verb. That’s why its past tense looks so strange. The past tense changes its spelling to form the word sent.

To Wrap Up: Grammar Is Complex

Before you started reading this, you didn’t know there was so much to learn about Send and Sent, did you?

The main thing to remember is that one is used for past tense and one is used for present tense.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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