What Is The Past Tense Of Lead? Led Or Lead?

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Lead?

The past tense of lead is “led.” Like “awake,” “lead” is an irregular verb with a unique past tense form. Its past participle form is also “led.” You can remember them easily by omitting the vowel -a in the base form.

Check out the below table to learn more verb conjugations of “lead”:

Base Form/Infinitive Form (V1) lead
Present Form/3rd Person/Singular Form leads
Past Simple Tense Form (V2) led
Past Participle Form (V3) led
Present Participle/Gerund leading

How To Pronounce “Lead” And “Led” Exactly?

Both American and Britain pronounce “lead” as /liːd/ and “led” as /led/. You can refer to the table below to learn the correct spelling:

Verb Forms Pronunciation 
British English language American English language
lead /liːd/ /liːd/
led (V2) /led/ /led/
led (V3) /led/ /led/
leading liːdɪŋ/ liːdɪŋ/

How to say “lead” and “led” correctly? Check out these videos:

“Lead” pronunciation: 

“Led” pronunciation: 

What Are The Definitions Of “Lead”? How To Use “Led”?

Like the past tense of other verbs, we use “led” as the V2 form of “lead” when talking about something that took place in the past, before the time of speaking.

Below are the meanings of the verb lead:

  • To walk ahead of a person or animal, showing them the way or guiding them to go the right way. (Click here to learn the past tense of walk)

Example: Yesterday, I led my friends through the forest trail to help them find the hidden waterfall.

  • To connect one thing or place to another.

Example: Last year, he led the cables from the computer to the printer to set up the new office network.

  • To move in a specific direction or toward a specific place.

Example: This old path led down the high hill.

  • To cause something, to make something happen.

Example: Two weeks ago, their inspiring speech led many people to join the charity event.

  •  To be in charge of something, like being the boss or the one in control.

Example: Last month, he led the team through a successful project, showcasing strong leadership skills.

  • To be the best or come in first place at something.

Example: Somanath led the way to space technology.

  • To have a certain lifestyle.

Example: In his early years, he led a simple life in a small village surrounded by nature.

Example: A year ago, their groundbreaking research led to the start of a new scientific era.

  • To be the first to do something or play the first card in a game.

Example: During last night’s card game, he led with a powerful ace, surprising everyone at the table.


Past Tense Of Lead

Choose the correct answer to fill in the blank:

1 / 7

His innovative idea ____ to the beginning of a new project in that company last year.

2 / 7

By the time she arrived, the team had already ______ the project to completion, achieving impressive results.

3 / 7

In the competition last night, their outstanding performance _____ them to secure the first-place trophy.

4 / 7

His constant encouragement and support always ____ her to pursue her dreams.

5 / 7

At last month's seminar, her presentation ____ many attendees reconsider their viewpoints on environmental conservation.

6 / 7

She is currently _____ the group of hikers up the mountain trail.

7 / 7

A few months ago, they ______ the new water pipes from the main line to their recently built house.

Your score is

The average score is 0%



Is “Lead” A Noun?

Yes. Lead is also a noun. Below are its meanings:

  • The position at the front in a race or competition.

Example: She crossed the finish line and claimed the lead in the marathon.

  • The amount of space that someone or something is in front of others.

Example: The horse maintained a comfortable lead throughout the race.

  • Something that people can copy or imitate.

Example: His dedication and hard work set a positive lead for the rest of the team.

  • A piece of information that might help people find out the truth.

Example: The detective found a crucial lead that helped solve the mystery.

  • Someone or something that may be useful for business chances.

Example: The business conference provided a great opportunity to connect with potential leads.

  • The most important/ main character in a film, movie, etc.

Example: The actor’s performance in the lead role was truly outstanding.

  • The person who’s in charge of a project, department, etc.

Example: The project’s success was attributed to the guidance of the lead.

  • The first sentence or paragraph of a news story that gives the most important points.

Example: The lead of the news highlighted the latest developments.

  • A heavy, soft, gray metal used in the past for water pipes or roof covers.

Example: Inspectors found traces of lead in the paint on the antique door.

What Does “Lead The Charge” Mean?

The idiom “lead the charge” means to be the first of an effort, movement, or action.

Example: John led the charge in the company’s push for innovation, inspiring the team with his creative ideas and dedication.

What Does “Lead On” Mean?

The phrasal verb “lead on” means to give false hope or a misleading impression. 

Example: He felt like she was leading him on with all the compliments and attention.