#GrammarSeries – Pled or pleaded which is correct?

Grammar concept with toy dice

Welcome to another #GrammarSeries.  If you missed last week’s post you should check it out. 

Today we want to consider what past tense is proper to use for plead. 

Most sources say that the correct past tense is pleaded. Some people even think pled sounds awkward. 

Garner’s Modern American Usage, the AP Stylebook, and the Chicago Manual of Style all say to use pleaded. 

Some people prefer pled, and the AP Stylebook calls it a colloquial past-tense form. Nevertheless, most lawyers use pleaded. For example, in a 2013 ABA Journal post, a senior litigation associate named Brian Boone reported doing a Westlaw search and finding that “the U.S. Supreme court has used pleaded in more than 3,000 opinions and pled in only 26.”

Our Grammar Tip is to stay out of trouble so you never have to make a choice, but if you must, tell people you pleaded innocent or guilty.

As we’ve always told you, keep your grammar in check till the next series. 

Culled from Grammar Girl. 


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