Proved vs. Proven

This week I’m going to keep it short. I hope you’ve been jotting down these weekly grammar and usage tips so that, by the end of the year, your writing will have shaped up quite a bit. It’s good to keep a notebook close at hand at your desk in which you can jot down tips like these to refer to when needed. If you’re like me and have a colander-type brain (with a lot of little holes that allows for stuff to seep out just as fast as you pour it in), you’ll look up the same things over and over and wonder why the rule just won’t stick (like a good starchy noodle to the side of the colander).

Proved and proven. There’s a simple rule to knowing which to use when.
Use proven only as an adjective (remember, an adjective describes a noun).

Correct examples:

Her prediction proved true.
She proved she was smarter than he.
That strategy is a proven failure.
He was the proven champion.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for your ongoing, clear elucidation. With proved/proven, it would be useful to add that proven is also the past participle of to prove, as in ‘he had proven that she was right’; although some dictionaries do allow ‘he had proved’. Ah well.

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