Beat or beaten

Photo of author


The verb beat has many definitions. The most common one is to strike or hit something. This can be one’s heart, an instrument, physically hitting another object or person, whipping eggs, or a multitude of other definitions. The confusion with this verb comes from the verb inflections.

The past tense of beat is beat. The past participle, which changes the verb to an adverb, is beaten. The adjective form is also beaten.

Sometimes it is heard in the construction got beat. This is incorrect grammatically, but is firmly established in slang, especially in North America.


My racing heart beats in time to the slur of violins, whose morbid crescendo acts as a warning that I’m not long for this world. [Mirror]

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration continued to beat the drum on its call for the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to give the mayor permanent control of New York City’s public schools. [Capital New York]

Melendez – who would later contend Acklin resisted arrest – is alleged to have beaten Acklin until another officer said “that’s enough”. [The Guardian]

December 23, 1996: Ms Toscan du Plantier’s beaten body is discovered at the foot of the laneway leading from her Toormore home. [Irish Independent]

When eggs are scrambled, the mechanism that transforms the liquidy beaten eggs into a fluffy mound on the plate is protein coagulation—the process by which, when exposed to heat, proteins unfold and then tangle up with one another and set, forming a latticed gel. [Yahoo Food]