This verb has both an irregular and regular form. You can use both and both are correct. Speakers in North America use dove while the British seem to prefer dived.
“Dived” is the traditional past tense and past participle of “to dive,” but “dove” has crept in over the last two centuries — particularly in the US. This is probably a result of the verb “to drive” (with its past tense “drove”) becoming more common.
But which is the most used one, dove or dived? Let´s look at Google Ngram Viewer tool which displays a graph showing how phrases have occurred in a corpus of books over the years.
The irregular pattern for Dive, Dove, Dived
We can group irregular verbs by their pattern. It means that more irregular verbs have the same pattern.
In the case of the verb ‘Dive’ we can see the same pattern with these verbs:
|Infinitive||Past simple||Past participle|
|Strive||Strove / Strived||Striven / Strived|
There are many other verbs with the same pattern though.
Learning patterns is a good way how to learn the irregular forms.
Examples of the usage `Dove` and `Dived`
Let´s look at the current online media:
- A BBC weather forecaster has dived into deep snow – [BBC]
- A little kid ran up six flights of stairs and dove – [BBC]
- the fish were so dazzled by her beauty that they forgot to swim and gradually dived to the bottom – [BBC]
- Before I dove into any games – [CNN]
- with a large dove of peace brooch – [CNN]
- Some restaurant operators who weren’t interested in delivery before the pandemic dove in once they had to close their doors. – [CNN]
Meaning of Dive
The Oxford Dictionary says `Dive` means „to jump into water with your head and arms going in first”:
- dive (from/off something) (into something)We dived into the river to cool off.
- dive off somethingHe dived off the bridge.
- dive inSam walked to the deep end of the pool and dived in.
We can find very similar meaning in the Cambridge dictionary means „to jump into water, especially with your head and arms going in first, or to move down under the water”:
- Look at those childrendiving for oysters over there!
- They ran to the pool, dived in, and swam to the other side.
- Mark dove off the bridgeinto the river.
- The submarinedived just in time to avoid the enemy
Synonyms for Dive