Pet or Petted – What is the Difference in Meaning?

Pet or Petted

When we talk about showing love to animals, like dogs or cats, we often use the word “pet”. But when we talk about doing this action in the past, people sometimes get confused. Should we say “pet” or “petted”? Let’s make it simple to understand.

Pet or Petted

The words “pet” or “petted” are related to the action of stroking, patting, or touching an animal affectionately. The usage depends on the tense and context:

  • “Pet” can be used as a noun to refer to an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment or as a verb in its base form. As a verb, “to pet” means to stroke or touch an animal affectionately. For example, “I like to pet my dog.”
  • “Petted” is the simple past tense and past participle form of the verb “to pet.” It is used to describe the action of having stroked or touched an animal affectionately in the past. For example, “I petted the cat yesterday.”

Whether you use “pet” or “petted” depends on the timing of the action you’re describing.Top of Form

Examples in Sentences

  • Present: “Every morning, I pet my cat before I go to school.”
  • Past: “Yesterday, I petted the dog when I got home.”

But Can We Also Say “Pet”?

In recent years, language has evolved, and some people now also use “pet” as the past tense. So, you might hear someone say, “I pet my cat last night,” and that’s becoming more accepted in casual conversation. Language often changes and grows with how people use it every day.

Which One Should You Use?

Both “petted” and “pet” are correct, but “petted” is more traditional and might be more suitable for formal writing. In everyday speech, especially in informal settings, you might hear “pet” used for the past tense. The most important thing is to be clear and understood, so use the form that feels most natural to you and fits the situation.

‘Pet’ or ‘Petted’ Usage Examples

Here are more examples in sentences to illustrate the use of “pet” in the present tense and “petted” in the past tense, making it really simple to understand:

Present Tense Examples (Using “Pet”)

  • “Every evening, I pet my rabbit gently before it goes to sleep.”
  • “When I visit my grandma, I always pet her friendly cat.”
  • “My sister likes to pet the horses when we go to the farm.”
  • “Do you pet your dog when it looks sad to cheer it up?”
  • “He pets the family parrot before leaving for school, it’s their morning ritual.”
  • “I always pet my cat softly on its head to make it purr.”
  • “Every morning, the children pet their guinea pig before breakfast.”
  • “She pets her dog’s back gently when it lies down next to her.”
  • “Do you pet your bird when you take it out of its cage?”
  • “He pets the family goat whenever he goes to the barn.”

Past Tense Examples (Using “Petted”)

  • “Last weekend, I petted the neighbor’s dog for the first time.”
  • “She petted the dolphin at the aquarium during her vacation.”
  • “We petted several kittens at the animal shelter yesterday.”
  • “He petted the sheep when we visited the countryside last summer.”
  • “They petted the friendly squirrel in the park, and it wasn’t scared at all.”
  • “Yesterday, I petted a friendly turtle at the zoo.”
  • “She had never petted a horse before, until last weekend at her friend’s farm.”
  • “After the movie, we petted the guide dogs that were waiting outside.”
  • “They petted the rabbits at the petting zoo during their school trip.”
  • “He petted the neighborhood cats when he went for a walk last evening.”

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