What Is The Past Tense Of Dig? Dug Or Digged?

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Dig?

The past tense of dig is “dug.” While many verbs form their past tense by adding “-ed” (e.g., talk –> talked, walk –> walked), irregular verbs like “dig” have unique past tense forms that do not follow this pattern. 

The past participle of dig is also dug. You just need to change the vowel -i into -u. Below are other verb forms of dig:

Base Form/Infinitive Form (V1) dig
Present Form/3rd Person/Singular Form digs
Past Simple Tense (V2) dug
Past Participle Form (V3) dug
Present Participle/Gerund digging

How To Pronounce “Dig” And “Dug” Correctly? 

The word “dig” is pronounced as /dɪɡ/. It has a short “i” sound, similar to the word “sit” or “big,” followed by a hard “g” sound.

The word “dug” is pronounced as /dʌɡ/. It has a short “u” sound, similar to the word “cup” or “hut.”

To better understand the pronunciation of other verb forms, the following phonetic representations may help:

Verb Forms Pronunciation 
British English language American English language
dig /dɪɡ/ /dɪɡ/


/dʌɡ/ /dʌɡ/


/dʌɡ/ /dʌɡ/
digging /ˈdɪɡɪŋ/ /ˈdɪɡɪŋ/

How to pronounce dig and dug naturally and correctly as native speakers? Check out the below videos:

Dig pronunciation: 

Dug pronunciation: 

What Are The Definitions Of Dig? How To Use Dug?

The past tense of dig refers to an action or event that occurred in the past. The verb “dig” has the following meanings:

  • To create a hole in the ground or move soil from one place to another using your hands, a tool, or a machine.

Example 1: Yesterday, we dug a hole in the backyard to plant a new tree.

Example 2: Last week, the construction workers dug a trench to lay the foundation for the building.

  • Remove something from the ground using a tool.

Example 1: I dug up a rusty old coin while gardening last night.

Example 2: In 1998, archaeologists dug up ancient artifacts from the excavation site.

  • To explore or search for something to find an object within it.

Example 1: Yesterday, he dug through his drawer to find his missing keys.

Example 2: I dug through my bag this morning to locate my misplaced wallet.

  • (Old-fashioned slang word) To approve of or like something very much.

Example 1: My friend digs the new song that was released.

Example 2: Last night, we all dug the comedy show. It had us laughing the whole time. (See the past tense of laugh here)


Created on By Benjamin Essek

Past Tense Of Dig

Choose the correct answer to fill in the blank:

1 / 7

Yesterday, A group of volunteers _____ trenches in the garden beds to plant several trees.

2 / 7

By the time we arrived, they had already _____ a trench for the pipes.

3 / 7

She _____ through her closet this morning to find the missing document, but she couldn't find it.

4 / 7

He is really _____ the new video game. He can't stop playing it. (See the past tense of stop here)

5 / 7

Last week he _____ out an old box buried beneath the tree.

6 / 7

I'm _____ through the pile of papers on my desk to find the contract.

7 / 7

They _____ a pit in the field for the bonfire last weekend.

Your score is

The average score is 71%



Is “Dig” A Noun?

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, “dig” is also a noun with 3 main meanings:

  • A gentle poke or push with one’s finger or elbow.

Example: She gave him a playful dig in the ribs to get his attention.

  • A comment or statement made with the purpose of irritating or upsetting someone.

Example: He continuously made subtle and provocative digs at her during the argument.

  • A planned event where a group of individuals excavates the ground to uncover ancient structures or objects, aiming to gain insights into their historical significance.

Example: The archaeology team organized a dig at the ancient ruins to uncover artifacts from a lost civilization.

What Are The 3 Most Common Idioms Of “Dig”?

  • Dig the dirt/dig up dirt (on somebody): To search for or uncover damaging information about someone, often used against them.

Example: The journalist tried to dig up dirt on the celebrity by investigating their personal life and past relationships.

  • Dig your heels/toes in: To firmly refuse to change one’s opinion or stance, even when facing opposition or pressure.

Example: Despite the criticism, she dug her heels in and stood by her decision to pursue a career in the arts.

  • Dig in/into your pocket/savings: To spend or use up a significant amount of money or resources.

Example: We had to dig deep into our savings to afford the unexpected medical expenses.

What Do “Dig In” And “Dig Over” Mean?

Dig in:

  • To tell someone that they can start eating.

Example: “The food is ready. Dig in, everyone!”

  • To deal with a difficult situation.

Example: We have a challenging task ahead, but we need to dig in and work together to overcome it.

  • (Dig in something/ Dig something in) ​To mix soil with another substance

Example: Before planting the flowers, make sure to dig in some organic matter to improve the soil quality

Dig over: 

  • To remove stones and other debris to prepare the soil

Example: I need to dig over the plot to remove any weeds and create a nutrient-rich bed for the plants.