| | |

What is the Past Tense of Dive

The English verb “dive” refers to the act of plunging suddenly downward from a height, and is used most often in the realm of swimming and other water-based activities. To “dive” into the water, means to plunge head-first into water, usually with one’s arms and legs extended.

It can also be applied to other things that suddenly move from a high position to a lower one in a short time, including birds, aircraft, and also more abstract ideas like prices or even an economy.

The past tense of “dive” is “dove” or “dived,” and the  past participle is “dived.”

What is the past tense of “dive”?

Dive (verb):

(1) Jump headfirst (usually arms and legs extended) into water

(2) Plunge downward at a fast rate, either physically or figuratively

  • Infinitive                       to dive
  • Simple Past                dove or dived
  • Past Participle             dived

Why Dived and Dove?

Why are there two correct versions of the past tense for this irregular verb, well it boils down to the differences between Englishes around the world. While both are correct, one – dived – is in British English, and Dove is more common in American English.

There are plenty of these differences in English so be prepared to come across more as you either teach of learn the language.

Conjugation Table of “dive”

 PronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Idivedove or divedhave divedam diving
You (sing.)divedove or divedhave divedare diving
He/She/Itdivesdove or divedhas divedis diving
Wedivedove or divedhave divedare diving
You (pl.)divedove or divedhave divedare diving
Theydivedove or divedhave divedare diving

Example Sentences of “dive”

(1) Jump headfirst (usually arms and legs extended) into water

  • She dives so gracefully and perfectly, it’s no wonder the judges give her high scores
  • I saw the clear, cool river in front of me and just wanted to dive in straight away
  • He dove into the pool at the shallow end, which was very dangerous

(2) Plunge downward at a fast rate, either physically or figuratively

  • Prices dived down overnight, plunging from a previous record high to a new low
  • I was enjoying watching the hawk diving and swooping in the air
  • The plane suddenly dived down several hundred feet, it was terrifying!
what is the past tense of dive

Focus: Past Tense of Dive

Below are some additional examples of how you can use the verb “dive” in its various past-tense forms. All of the following tenses are included in our list:

  • Simple past
  • Present perfect
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect

Simple Past of “dive”

  • We dove into the pool as soon as we arrived
  • Even though the weather was cold that day, he still dove headfirst into the lake
  • My opinion of him dove to rock bottom after I learned about his criminal past

Present Perfect of “dive”

  • We have dived into the pool enough already, let’s take a break
  • You have dived professionally for 10 years now, so what advice can you give to the younger generation who are interested in the sport
  • I have dived from the tops of many waterfalls, but never Niagara Falls because it’s too dangerous

Past Continuous of “dive”

  • I was diving from the rocks when I saw a boat approaching
  • We were diving from the 10-meter board in preparation for our Olympic trials
  • You were diving into the sea all morning, weren’t you? It might be time to do something else now

Past Perfect of “dive”

  • We had dived into the deep blue sea from the rocks above when we suddenly saw a shark nearby
  • So, you had dived from the 10-meter board, and what happened next?

Understanding the Verb “Dive”

Originating from the Old Norse word “dȳfa,” “dive” denotes a plunge headfirst into water. Its meanings have expanded to include sudden descents or a quick move to a place.

Phrasal Verbs with “Dive”

  1. Dive in: To start something eagerly without hesitation.
    • She had a new book and couldn’t wait to dive in.
    • Let’s dive in and get this project started.
  2. Dive into: To immerse oneself in a task or activity.
    • I’m going to dive into my studies and finish my thesis.
    • He dove into his work, trying to distract himself.
  3. Dive for: To make a sudden, quick move toward something.
    • He dove for cover when he heard the gunshots.
    • The goalkeeper dove for the ball.

Common Mistakes with “Dive”

  • Incorrect: He has dive into the pool.
  • Correct: He has dived/diven into the pool.
  • Incorrect: I dived for the cookies.
  • Correct: I dove for the cookies. (This depends on American vs. British English, as “dived” is often used in British English, while “dove” is common in American English.)

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.

You can check other past tense words by clicking on the links in the table below.

Table 2: Table of Links for irregular Past Tense Verbs

learn keepfindbe

We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.


Whether you go for American English with ‘dove’ or British English and ‘dived’, both are correct and you can argue the point with your teacher ( though perhaps not too much!. There are many slight variations between English as it is spoken around the world, but for the most part the grammar rules stay the same.

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

Similar Posts