Mowed vs. mown

| Grammarist

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| Usage

Mowed is the past tense of the verb mow. For example, if you cut the grass yesterday, you might say, “I mowed the lawn yesterday.” Mown is often used as mow’s past-participial adjective. So one might say, “The freshly mown grass looks nice.” But mowed is also sometimes used for this purpose. Neither is right or wrong.


In a businesslike manner they have mowed through the schedule, losing just four times in 35 games from the end of November through Wednesday night. [CBC]

The vehicle had been travelling north and came to rest on a mown stretch of grass on the side of the road facing Proserpine. [Mackay Daily Mercury]

Clean-up laps were performed every other time I mowed to reduce the wear on those areas. [Golf Course Industry Magazine]

He said council had received reports that Manildra residents had mowed the cemetery over the last couple of weeks. [Central Western Daily]

Farming families were shocked to discover that hedges several metres deep had been mown down and the wood burned in a mass clearance operation. [Gloucestershire Gazette]

On the corner of McRobbie and Linwood roads is carefully mown farmland, green as far as the eye can see. [The Auklander]

7 thoughts on “Mowed vs. mown”

  1. In your definition of Mown you used the phrase Neither is right or wrong.  Should it have read, Neither is right nor wrong?

    • Actually, “Neither is right or wrong” is grammatically correct!

      Neither is the subject of the sentence and refers to “mowed” and “mown”, not to ” right” and “wrong”.

      To make it clearer, a fuller version of the same sentence would be: Neither [“mowed” nor “mown”] is [either] right or wrong.

      Semantically, however, the sentence is problematic. What they are trying to say is: Both are right and neither is wrong.


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