Common mistake mean vs meant

Common Mistake: Mean vs Meant

One of the most common mistakes in the English language is confusing the words "mean" and "meant." These two words may look and sound similar, but they have different meanings and usage.


"Mean" is a verb that is used to express an intention, to convey an idea, or to indicate significance. It can also refer to being unkind or malicious.

  • Example 1: What do you mean by that statement? (expressing an intention or seeking clarification)
  • Example 2: She is known to mean what she says. (conveying an idea)
  • Example 3: Don't be mean to your sister. (being unkind or malicious)


"Meant" is the past tense and past participle form of the verb "mean." It is used to indicate that something was intended or intended to be done.

  • Example 1: The email she sent was meant to be a joke. (indicating intention)
  • Example 2: I meant to call you earlier, but I got caught up in a meeting. (indicating intention)
  • Example 3: The gift was meant for you. (intended for someone)

It is crucial to understand the difference between "mean" and "meant" in order to use them correctly in spoken and written English. Confusing these words can lead to misunderstandings in communication.

In conclusion, "mean" and "meant" are distinct words with different meanings and usage. Remember to use "mean" when expressing an intention or conveying an idea, and use "meant" when indicating that something was intended or intended to be done.

Linguix Grammar Checker is an excellent tool that can help you identify and correct common mistakes like confusing "mean" and "meant." It provides real-time suggestions and explanations to enhance your writing skills and ensure accurate grammar usage.

mean vs meant mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    Some texts are not mean to be stored forever.

    Some texts are not meant to be stored forever.

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