The Grammar Guide Spelling What is the difference between 'tired' and 'tried'?

What is the difference between 'tired' and 'tried'?

What is the difference between 'tired' and 'tried'?

The words tired and tried are often confused by writers. We'll explain the difference.

Tried means attempted when used as a verb.

Tired means in need of some rest or sleep when used as an adjective.

Tired is also used as a verb. It means to make fatigued or sleepy.

A good way to remember the difference is I TRIed to ride a TRIcycle.

Out of the two words, 'tried' is the most common. It appears about four times more frequently than 'tired'.

It's easy to misstype words that have all the same letters in a different order. One example that writers often mix up are tried and tired.

Tried is the past participle of the verb "to try." It means "attempted."

Tired is usually used as an adjective. It means "fatigued, sleepy, or in need of rest." Tired can also be the past tense of the verb "to tire." In this case, it means "to make or cause to become fatigued, sleepy, or worn."

Should it be 'dog tired' or 'dog tried'?

The correct expression is 'dog tired'. These phrases are often confused by writers.

Which is correct 'tried and true' or 'tired and true'?

The correct phrase is 'tried and true'. These phrases are often confused by writers.

Some synonyms of tired are: bleary, weary, worn-out, sleepy, fatigued, exhausted

Some synonyms of tried are: attempted, endeavored

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Examples of tired in a sentence

He looked tired in his navy wool dress uniform.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber
- Mystery Bride by B. J. Daniels
UNTO my books so good to turn Far ends of tired days;
- The collected poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson; Rachel Wetzsteon
Reckon if you're tired, bed's the place for you."
- Cropper's cabin by Jim Thompson
She never tired of watching him practice tai chi chuan.
- Nothing gold can stay by Dana Stabenow

Examples of tried in a sentence

He must already have tried everything he knew to persuade her.
- Weighed in the balance by Anne Perry
Disappointed, Windreaver sucked air and tried again.
- The Rise and Fall of a Dragonking by Lynn Abbey
I think it would overrun me if I tried.”
- The wandering fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
We crossed our eyes and tried to reassemble the figures cut to pieces by Picasso.
- Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren
Earlier he’d been prepared to kill anyone who tried to stop him.
- Mystery Bride by B. J. Daniels

Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.