“Leaped” vs “Leapt”: Main Differences & How to Use Both Correctly as a Writer

Did you know that both leaped and leapt are past-tense and past-participial forms of the verb leap?

Aside from their spelling and pronunciation, there is no difference between them.

Do you think I am telling the truth or pulling your legs? Well, find out in this concise article.

Leapt vs. Leaped

Both leaped and leapt are the past tense and past participle forms of the verb leap. They are used in both its literal and figurative senses. In addition, they can be used interchangeably.

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Leapt vs. Leaped Example

At the end of the exercise, the cow leaped/leapt over the moon.

The track star leaped/leapt over the hurdles with blazing speed.

Tip: A past participle form of a verb can be used to create the present perfect verb tense  which is have leaped/leapt or the past perfect verb tense, which is had leaped/leapt.

Leapt vs. Leaped

Present perfect form: My dog has leaped/leapt over the fence many times before.

Past participle form: The rat had leaped/leapt into the trees before the insecticides came anywhere close to it. 

You form the past tenses and past participles of most verbs by adding -ed or -d to the end of the root form of the verb. Bear in mind that leaped follows this pattern and isn’t an exception. Verbs whose past tenses and past participles follow this general rule are called regular verbs, whereas verbs that don’t act this way are called irregular verbs. Therefore, leaped isa regular verb.

Although, we often consider leapt as an irregular form, adding -t to form the past tense or past participle follows the same pattern as adding -ed.

But leapt isn’t the only verb that ends this way.

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Correct Usage of Leapt vs. Leaped


In American English, “Leaped” is the most common spelling of the past tense form of the verb “leap”. It is widely recognized and accepted, around the world and follows the pattern of forming regular past tense verbs by adding “-ed.”  


Most commonly used in British English, “Leapt” is an alternative spelling of the past tense form of “leap”. Although it isn’t regularly used in American English, it is still considered correct and acceptable.

Meanings and Applications of Leapt vs. Leaped


“Leaped” is used to describe the action of jumping or moving swiftly in the past tense.

It is used in both formal and informal sentences/writing.


We use “leapt” when writing in British English. We also use it in American English when we wish to use this spelling instead of leaped.  

Examples of Leapt vs. Leaped

Correct (American English): The relay athlete leaped over the hurdle with ease.

Correct (British English): He leapt across the pond to catch the escaping bee.

Regional Preferences

Well, the choice for using either leaped vs leapt may depend on the region or location of the writer/reader or the effects he wishes to achieve with the work.  American English tends to favor “leaped,” while British English may use both forms, but they may prefer to use “leapt.”

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Whether you choose “leaped” or “leapt” depends on what you wish to achieve with your writing, your tone of writing, and even your regional preferences. Both forms are correct and convey the past tense of the verb “leap” effectively.