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What is The Past Tense of Wear

The verb “wear” is an interesting one given how its multiple definitions seemingly have so little to do with each other. Broadly speaking, the word “wear” can be defined either as the act of having something on one’s body as an item of clothing or a related accessory, or as the action of damaging or eroding something through friction.

The past tense of wear is “wore.” and the past participle in worn

What is the past tense of “wear”?

Wear (verb):

(1) Have on one’s body, or a part of one’s body, as clothing or alternatively for protection or some other specific purpose

(2) Erode or damage something through friction or a similar physical action

  • Infinitive                       to wear
  • Simple Past                wore
  • Past Participle             worn

Conjugation Table of “wear”

 PronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Iwearworehave wornam wearing
You (sing.)wearworehave wornare wearing
He/She/Itwearsworehas wornis wearing
Wewearworehave wornare wearing
You (pl.)wearworehave wornare wearing
Theywearworehave wornare wearing

Example Sentences of “wear”

(1) Have on one’s body, or a part of one’s body, as clothing or alternatively for protection or some other specific purpose

  • He always wears a suit to work
  • What are you wearing? It looks awful!
  • They all wore sunglasses when visiting the beach at Malaga

(2) Erode or damage something through friction or a similar physical action

  • Over time, this great river will wear away these banks and form great meanders
  • The ridges in the limestone are caused by centuries of rainfall wearing the rock away
  • His shoes wore out so fast because he almost never took them off!
what is the past tense of wear

Focus: Past Tense of Wear

Through additional examples of “wear” in various past-tense forms we can see the different ways that we can use this common verb. Read on below for examples in all of the following tenses:

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

Simple Past of “wear”

  • The girls wore matching dresses to their aunt’s wedding
  • He washed his hands so often that he wore the soap bar to a nub in just a week
  • The wealthy ladies at Ascot all wore fabulous designer hats

Present Perfect of “wear”

  • He has worn the same t-shirt for five days in a row
  • These two tennis pros have worn the grass away at many tennis tournaments
  • My grandmother gave me this necklace, and I have worn it ever since that day

Past Continuous of “wear”

  • Did you see that man? He was wearing a bright green sweater
  • We were wearing our best outfits because it was an important day
  • He was pacing up and down the room so fast, we thought he was wearing a hole into the floor

Past Perfect of “wear”

  • We had worn the same suits to the ball every year until this year when we both suddenly changed our minds
  • I was scrubbing the walls so hard, I didn’t realize that I had worn away some of the original plaster

Understanding the Verb “Wear”

The verb “wear” originates from Old English “werian,” referring to having clothing or adornments on the body. It encompasses the act of carrying something as a means of protection or ornament.

Phrasal Verbs with “Wear”

  1. Wear out: To use something so much that it becomes thin or damaged.
    • These shoes have worn out; I need a new pair.
    • He’s worn out the carpet by pacing back and forth.
  2. Wear down: To make someone gradually lose their energy or confidence.
    • The constant criticism wore her down.
    • Time and weather have worn down the ancient statues.
  3. Wear on: As time passes, especially slowly or tediously.
    • As the evening wore on, the guests began to leave.
    • The day wore on with no news from them.

Common Mistakes with “Wear”

  • Incorrect: She is wearing her hair in a pony.
  • Correct: She is wearing her hair in a ponytail.
  • Incorrect: He wears a glasses.
  • Correct: He wears glasses.

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

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


The past tense of wear is wore, and the past participle is Worn. it can be a tricky one but both meanings of the word follow the same past tense rules which is at least something.

Don’t forget we have hundreds, or will, do of these pages to help you master the past tense in English and we are working through getting all irregular verbs up on the site.

Bear with us while we work through this, its a big task! We will be worn out!

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.

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