The English language has hundreds of different words that trip up writers on a regular basis. Many of these confusing English words are homophones, words that are pronounced alike but have different meanings and spellings. Another good portion is verbs, with the confusion surrounding proper tense: present tense vs. past tense vs. future tense. Today’s words have to do with both.
Lead as verb:
She emerged leading a bay horse.
The door led to a better-lit corridor.
Led as verb:
This car takes unleaded gas only.
Don’t break the lead in my pencil.
Lead or led:
Led is lead past tense. This is its only use. Do not confuse it with the metal lead. Lead is a present tense verb, meaning to guide. It also is a noun that refers to a metallic element, e.g., a lead pipe. Here’s a helpful trick to remember lead vs. led. The usual mistake is to use lead when you mean led.
He lead the troops to victory. (Wrong)
He led the troops to victory. (Correct)
In other words, you need a way to remember that only led is the correct past tense of lead. Try this, If you can substitute the words guided or directed into your sentence, you should be using the three-letter led.