lead vs. led

What is the difference between lead and led?

The past tense and past participle of the verb lead (pronounced /lid/) is led (pronounced /lɛd/). While this isn’t too complicated in itself, the word lead can also be a noun that refers to a toxic, bluish-white metallic element that was formerly used to make paint and pipes. This noun is also pronounced /lɛd/, which often leads to the two spellings being used incorrectly in place of one another. For example:

Spelling Tricks and Tips

The best way to remember the correct spelling is to keep in mind that, if you’re talking about the metallic element, you should dread its toxicity, so it is spelled lead. Led, meanwhile, is always a verb, so it is spelled with a single E.
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