An innocent man: Pled vs. plead vs. pleaded

Before declaring some writers guilty of mixing up these three words, you may want to consider the evidence against them.

Pleaded is the standard past tense of the verb plead, as in He pleaded innocent in Los Angeles County Court.

Pled – long consider the nonstandard past tense of plead – is increasingly used by professionals and layperson alike. So while reference books and most style guides recommend using pleaded instead of pled, the rule appears to be about irrelevant as state laws banning witches.

plea, by the way is a noun. So one makes a plea in a court but pleads to the court.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.