'Casted' vs 'Cast': What's the Difference?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on January 13, 2023

Are you wondering which of the two you should use between 'casted' vs 'cast'? What does each word mean? That's what we'll explore in this article.

In short, 'cast' is the correct past tense form of the verb "to cast." 'Casted' is a grammatically incorrect form in most cases.

What is the Difference Between 'Casted' vs 'Cast?'

'Casted' and 'cast' are both trying to be past indefinite forms of the verb "cast." But only one of them is correct, and that is 'cast.'

The set rules for conjugating a verb in the past indefinite form would usually require you to add -ed to the root verb. That's why you might be tempted to say 'casted.' But that's where the confusion lies. "Cast" is an irregular verb.

As I'm sure you already know, irregular verbs do not follow the usual conjugation conventions. They do their own thing and are each to be memorized individually. "Cast" is one such verb. Despite all logic, the correct past tense form of the verb is 'cast.'

What Does 'Cast' Mean?

So what does this word mean? For starters, 'cast' can be either a noun or a verb. As a noun, it can mean "part of a film crew," or it can be a plaster mold that you use to assist broken bones in repairing themselves.

But for the purposes of this article, we're primarily concerned with the meaning of the verb "cast." The verb has many different meanings, which you can easily find using a dictionary. Here are some of the most common ones, summarized:

  • The act of choosing actors who will be part of your production
  • To shine light or shadow in a particular direction
  • To throw a fishing line out into the water
  • To direct a look at someone

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Cast'

If you're wondering how to pronounce the word 'cast,' here's how the International Phonetic Association spells it:


And it sounds something like this:


When to Use 'Cast'

So when should you use 'cast'? You can use it in any sentence where the intended meaning is one of the ones described above or in the dictionary. Since 'cast' is the root verb, you can use 'cast' for all verb tenses that use the root verb. It's also the present indefinite tense for all pronouns other than the third person singular. And it's the past participle of the verb "cast."

We'll focus on examples of 'cast' as a past indefinite verb since that's what this article focuses on:

He cast the actors once the script was ready.

The sun cast light rays across the ocean as dawn settled into the morning sky.

Now that they had reached the middle of the lake, she cast her fishing line into the water.

The moon cast a bright light into the nighttime.

My mom cast an angry glance in my direction as I walked through the door after my midnight curfew.

Some Exceptions Where Using 'Casted' Is Okay

First, it's helpful to know that 'casted' used to be the commonly used word for the past tense of 'cast' from the Middle English period to the sixteenth century. Its use has dwindled since then, which means you might occasionally see it. I'll reiterate that it is no longer grammatically correct to use 'casted.'

However, there are a couple of occasions where using 'casted' is acceptable. According to the Collins Dictionary, 'casted' means "having or belonging to a caste." For example:

The need for organization within society means that people are often casted into different social classes.

You can also use the word to say that you've had a surgical cast fitted. For example:

The doctor casted my leg this morning and said I should keep off my feet as much as possible.

'Casted' vs 'Cast': Final Thoughts

To summarize, although there are a couple of exceptions, you won't often come across these, so it's safe to say you'll mostly have to use the word 'cast' if using the verb in the past indefinite or present indefinite tenses, or as a past participle.

To learn more about Confusing Words, visit our blog, where we highlight many more commonly confused words.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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