Difference Between Payed and Paid

Payed vs Paid

We all know the word paid, which is used to refer to receiving or giving money in exchange for a product or service. Paid is, in fact, past tense of a verb ‘pay’. However, some people use another spelling in place of paid and believe it to be correct. Yes, despite not being included in dictionaries of the world, some use the word ‘payed’ instead of ‘paid’. Are these two separate and distinct words or just naiveté of people whose first language is not English? Let us take a closer look.

The past tense of say is said; this is one way of making past tense of a word, though there are many different ways of making past tense of verbs. And if pay is the present tense of an exercise that stands for making a payment to someone in exchange for his service or a product that he gave us, paid is the past tense of this exchange of money to him. This may be confusing to those who are not native speakers of English, and used to make past tense by adding ‘ed’ to the word such as stayed for stay. This is how people make past tense of the word pay by adding ed and converting it to payed.

Look at the following example.

“I usually pay $1 for my newspaper, so I paid the hawker $30 at the end of the month.”

Some say that payed is an archaic word that stood for paid, before the word paid was invented. However, payed is not used anymore and people making use of payed are termed as ignorant.


What is the difference between Payed and Paid?

• While dictionaries all over the world recognize paid as the correct spelling for the past tense of pay, there is no place or country where payed is accepted as the past tense of pay.

• To give or receive money in exchange for the product or service is what paid stands for.

• While payed is intended to serve the same purpose as paid, even Microsoft Word does not recognize the word payed.


  • White American Man

    To term someone as ignorant for using “Payed” is, in itself, ignorant, since it is essentially correct, although not used by many. I have always understood “Payed” as being used as verbiage in it’s past tense, and “Paid” as an adjective, or a status, so to speak, i.e. “I PAYED the bill, and therefore the bill is PAID”.

  • Jesse James

    So, what if I payed attention to what was being stated. Is that wrong? It doesn’t seem like I paid attention is right. It seems like past tense of pay attention is payed attention.