Sank vs. sunk

 Sank is the past tense (e.g., the ship sank to the bottom of the sea). Sunk is the past participle, so it’s used in the perfect tenses (e.g., the ship has sunk to the bottom of the sea) and as an adjective (the sunk ship is at the bottom of the sea).

15 thoughts on “Sank vs. sunk”

    • English is just too random sometimes.

      I can’t wrap my head around why “desirable” drops the “e” from the end of “desire” whereas “manageable” keeps it. I would think “desireable” would be a more accurate spelling, but I guess the English experts disagree! Instead, the correct spelling reads to me like “de-sir-able” which is not how anyone would pronounce it.

      • in English, there is never a soft G (or C) before an A, so the E is kept to prevent people from pronouncing it as manaGable instead of manaJable. The same can be seen with knowledgeable, and even with soft C words like embraceable (pronounced embraSable, instead of embraKable)

          • Other words drop the ‘e’ because there’s only one sound for most consonants. G & C are exceptions, so the e is kept only to distinguish between the lesser used “juh” and “suh” sounds and the more common “guh” and “kuh” sounds. E.g. draGGable vs. manaGEable

            English is definitely a language where there are more exceptions to the rules than things that follow the rules and tons of things that don’t make sense, but this is actually pretty straightforward

          • actually margarine is a French word (and invention) that was later adopted into the English language (like façade and bourgeois) so it doesn’t follow the English grammar rules

          • Disagree. He explained manageable but not desirable in his first reply. He clarified it in his second reply. Thanks for your pointless comment tho!

        • This thread is a few months old, but I am inclined to share an experience of mine that relates:

          I used to have a boss whose grammar and spelling skills left a lot to be desired, so I was his proofreader. He wrote a sentence that included the word “manager,” but he left out the second “a.” When I pointed it out, he blamed spellchecker for not catching it. “Whoever heard of the word ‘manGer?’ (rhyming with “anger”) he asked. In my best lullaby voice I sang, “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed…”

          There are lots more similar stories about this guy. He was a real piece of work.

    • The ship was sunk to the bottom of the sea; The sunk ship was on the bottom of the sea. You wouldn’t say “the ship was sunken to the bottom of the sea.” “Sunken” as you use it is an adjective, not a verb.

      • Of course I’m using it as an adjective; that’s how I intended to use it, and it is correct.

        The [incorrect] example given in the article is also provided as an adjective.

    • I know this is 2 years old but come on dude, why needlessly confuse people? The example was trying to explain the use of sunk, not sunken. Should he have said has sunken? No, because that’s stupid, and so is not thinking before you type or upvote.


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