Difference Between Led and Lead

Main Difference – Led vs Lead

Led and lead are different forms of the same verb. Lead means to guide, direct or show the way. Led is the past and past participle form of lead. This is the main difference between led and lead.

Lead – Meaning and Usage

Lead is an irregular verb that can be used transitively and intransitively. Lead can be understood as

To direct or guide someone

The guide was supposed to lead the way.

This woman will lead us straight to the culprit.

To go through

He wanted to lead a simple life.

His aim in life was to lead a completely non-violent life.

To command or to be in charge

You need great courage to lead men to a battle.

Our captain leads the team with strength and determination.

His main duty was to lead an official Chinese delegation.

Lead can also be used as a noun. As a noun lead can refer to leadership, an initiative in an action or an example for others to follow.

England took the lead in the World Championship.

Our company is now taking the lead in environmental policies.

Why don’t you take the lead?

However, it is also important to notice that lead has another meaning. Lead also refers to a metal or the chemical element of atomic number 82. But the pronunciations of the two meanings are different. The verb lead as pronounced as /liːd/ (as in greed) the lead metal is pronounced as /lɛd/ (as in bed).

Difference Between Led and Lead

How to lead a horse?

Led – Meaning and Usage

Led is the past tense and past participle of the verb lead. It is pronounced as /lɛd/ (as in bed). Therefore, many people tend to confuse it with the metal lead which is pronounced in the same way. Given below are some sentences that use the past tense of lead.

The horse was led around by the noose.

He led the team to victory.

The expedition was led by a young, ambitious captain.

The team was led by the most experienced player.

We were led to believe that it was not his fault.

It was his selfishness and greed that ultimately led to his downfall.

She has led a completely sheltered life.

Some learners also tend to compare lead with read. The past tense and past participle of read are read, pronounced as /rɛd/ (rhymes with bed). This is why some people write lead as the past tense and past participle of lead. But the past tense of lead should always be written as led.

Main Difference - Led vs Lead

The team was led by their most experienced player.

Difference Between Led and Lead


Led is the past tense and past participle of lead.

Lead is an irregular verb meaning to direct or guide.

Grammatical Categories

Led is mainly used as a verb.

Lead can be used as a noun, verb, and adjective.


Led is the past tense.

Lead is the present tense.

Alternative Meanings

Led can also refer to a light-emitting diode.

Lead can also refer to a metal or chemical element.

Difference Between Led and Lead - infographic

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