Sunday 24 January 2016

Lead, Lead and Led: Ending the Confusion: #GrowYourVocab #LearningNeverEnds

When, Where and How to Use Lead, Lead and Led

There's plenty to be confused about when it comes to the use of lead, lead and led. It doesn't help that lead has two pronunciations, one of which is the same as led, or that lead can be used as a verb, noun or adjective. So let me "lead" by saying I'm not an expert. I find writing stuff down and breaking ideas and concepts into smaller parts helps me to better understand them. Maybe it might help you too. 


Lead can be used as a verb, noun or adjective. 
Pronunciations: Lead (like Bead) Lead (like Bed)
Noun: Pronounced like Bead or Bed depending on use.
Lead (noun) A type of metal or metallic element: Pb is the symbol for Lead on the Periodic Table.
Lead (noun) fishing lead or weight (originally made from lead but also called lead): I attached a fishing lead to my line to sink my lure.
Lead (noun) term for dog leash: This dog lead is made from leather.

Verb: Pronounced like Bead when used as a verb present tense. 
Lead (verb) to show the route or way, guide or direct: I will lead the group to the conference room. Before we begin, I will lead you through the process. This hall will lead you to the lobby.
Lead (verb) at the front, ahead of, first position: She is in the lead to win her school's Spelling Bee. He's currently in the lead for the Innovation Award.
Lead: (verb) to begin: I'll like to lead this lecture with a look at the reading materials I've handed out.

Adjective: Pronounced like Bead or Bed depending on use. 
Lead (adjective) to describe principle or main: That is the lead dancer of the ballet company. Who is the team lead for this project. 
Lead (adjective) to describe an object: Are we using lead pipes instead of plastic pipes for this project?


Past tense of the verb lead.
Led is always used as past tense.
Led (verb) is the past tense of lead - to show the way, guide or directI led the team to the conference room. I led the team through the process. We led the dance class with a tango. 
Tips to Help: Ask yourself: Is the past tense being used? Can you replace the word led with a synonym such as guided or directed and still have it make sense? If the answer is yes to both, then you're probably using led correctly. I led the team to the conference room. I guided the team to the conference room. I directed the team to the conference room.

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about Lead, Lead and Led and ways to Grow Your Vocabulary.
If I've made any errors in this post please remember I'm not an expert. I'm merely sharing my insights from my efforts to find answers to where, when and how to use lead, lead and led correctly. In other words please be respectful in your comments. 

The following were used as reference on this grow you vocabulary journey: 


  1. I love these posts Cathy! I was actually having a conversation with a friend about words that have multiple meanings or multiple spellings. Definitely something people should read. We lose a lot of our vocabulary with electronics spelling for us.

  2. Thanks Cathy! As always very informative.