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Strived or Strove – What is the Past Tense of Strive?

Regular verbs are easy enough to remember in English, although they do cause occasional confusion. Irregular verbs, however, make life difficult even for the most seasoned writers.

Strive is an irregular verb, which means it doesn’t follow the set English conjunction rules. Luckily, it keeps company with several other irregular verbs that follow its same conjugation rules.

This family of verbs provides an easy way for writers to remember the correct way to conjugate strive. If you have ever wondered how to conjugate this irregular verb in the past tense, this article is for you.

When to Use Strove

Correct communication strove

What does strove mean? Strove is a verb, namely, the simple past tense conjugation of the verb strive. To strive is to work hard for something.

An athlete might strive for a new personal record in a race, or a student might strive for an A on a test. Someone who strove for something worked hard to accomplish it in the past.

For example,

  • We strove for perfection, and though we did not achieve it, we accomplished something great.
  • Srikanth strove for a world title, but he was defeated in under a minute by Sindhu.

Strove is one way to conjugate strive, but the verb has many tenses.

Conjugations of Strive:

  • I/we strive: singular/plural first person present
  • You strive: singular/plural second person present
  • He/she/it strives: singular third person present
  • They strive: plural third person present
  • Strove: simple past
  • Striven: past participle
  • Striving: present participle

When to Use Strived

Correct communication strived

What does strived mean? Strived is an erroneous past tense conjugation of strive. Most usage authorities recommend strove in the simple past and striven as a past participle, leaving no room for strived anywhere.

Trick to Remember the Difference

Strived is not an accepted conjugation of strive, so you should always use strove in the simple past and striven as a past participle.

Remember that strive and strove are analogous to drive and drove. These rhyming verbs are a great way to remember the correct way to conjugate strive.

You could use the same trick with driven and striven when conjugating strive as a past participle.


Is it strived or strove? Strove is the simple past tense conjugation of the verb strive, which means to work hard to attain somethingStrived is an unaccepted variant form that you should avoid. Use striven as a past participle.

To summarise,

  • Use strove and striven.
  • Avoid strived.

This daily series is an outcome of Sahasriya of the best English communication course designed to for students’ benefit. These vital tips ensures a student’s aspirations with Sahasriya is the most effective which is what hundreds of students benefit from everyday.

About Govind Desikan

AvatarGovind, a master of English language has taken to sharing his experience on English language and focus specifically on finer inputs on English language, IELTS and PTE exams through his posts here.

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