Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: English grammar ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: English grammar
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: azstargirl-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 22 Sep 2005 08:02 PDT
Expires: 22 Oct 2005 08:02 PDT
Question ID: 570951
which is correct: "this room is well-lit" or "this room is
well-lighted" also, is it:  "pre-lit" or "pre-lighted"
Subject: Re: English grammar
Answered By: aliciadenney-ga on 22 Sep 2005 09:49 PDT
Grammar is SO idiosynchratic--I agree!

However, in this case, according to

EITHER LIT or LIGHTED is acceptable and completely grammatically correct:

"Either may be used as the past tense and past participle of the verb
to light. Lit is more common."

I also corroborated this on (my source for grammatical
issues--I'm a journalist), where they state:

"You can use either lighted or lit as past tense and past participle
of light. Both forms are also well established as adjectives: a lit
(or lighted) pipe."

Lastly, tells you:
"Don?t fret over the difference between these two words; they?re interchangeable."

It would therefore naturally follow, that the utilization of
"pre-lighted" or "pre-lit" is ALSO merely a matter of preference.  In
my grammarian opinion, however, "pre-lighted" sounds archaic when
compared to the sleeker, more concisely stated, "pre-lit."

Thanks for choosing Google Answers!
Subject: Re: English grammar
From: rhombus103-ga on 22 Sep 2005 10:38 PDT
One must be careful of the hyphen.  It is correct to say--I entered a
well-lit room.  In this case there is a combination of the participle
and a modifier.  However, the hyphen would be dropped--The room was
well lit.
Subject: Re: English grammar
From: azstargirl-ga on 22 Sep 2005 13:01 PDT
Thank you! I had hyphens-on-the-brain it seems.
Subject: Re: English grammar
From: cecilrode-ga on 22 Sep 2005 13:52 PDT
Lit and lighted are both acceptable.  However, there is a prominent
difference.  Lighted is historically used in prose and poetry, the
rhetorical sense.  Lit is what is commonly used in spoken English and
commonplace journalism.
Subject: Re: English grammar
From: myoarin-ga on 22 Sep 2005 16:22 PDT
Hmm, although Aliciadenney and Cecilrode both feel that "lighted" is
the older form, the tendency in usage is away from irregular verb
I would use them both, but not entirely interchangeably.  As a
participle, "lighted", for me, is more active, suggesting the event of
the thing's being lighted, whereas "lit" just describes it.
And then there is the subtle rhythm of a sentence when speaking and writing:
"a lit candle"  vs  "a lighted candle".  Some persons  - in some
contexts -  would choose the latter to allow the unaccented syllable
between "light'ed" and "cand'le.  This would override my previous
explanation - for me - in such a context (maybe, I think :).
Subject: Re: English grammar
From: magnesium-ga on 22 Sep 2005 16:45 PDT
>>Grammar is SO idiosynchratic [sic]...

Please, folks, if you can't spell the big words, don't use them.
Subject: Re: English grammar
From: aliciadenney-ga on 03 Oct 2005 14:34 PDT
TSK, TSK--my goodness, a mere addition of an 'h'...resulted in such
holier-than-thou animosity?!?!

"Please, folks," if you can't politely correct sans the bitter bite,
eschew the extraneous commentary!  This is a professional service, not
an amateur intelligence-contest messageboard.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy