Before we begin, let’s see what you already know. Can you tell which sentences correctly use drug and dragged?

  1. She dragged me to the doctor last week because I had been sick for such a long time.
  2. Until she was four years old, my daughter drug her blanket behind her everywhere she went.
  3. The toddler drug every toy she owned out of her closet and into the middle of the room.
  4. My best friend in college dragged me into every argument she had with her roommate.

Sentences 1 and 4 use dragged correctly as the past tense of the verb “to drag.”

Sentences 2 and 3 use drug, which is never appropriate in business writing or in other formal writing contexts. We should write, instead, “my daughter dragged her blanket behind her” and “the toddler dragged every toy . . .”

Drug can be a verb, but only when it describes the action of medicating someone (or oneself). And of course drug can be a noun, synonymous with pharmaceutical.

For some reason, dragged sounds problematic to most speakers of American English, though it is certainly preferable to drug when the speaker needs the past tense of “to drag.”


Has the writer of these sentences made the best choices between drug and dragged?

  1. The doctor plans to drug the patient before starting the procedure.
  2. After working late for three nights in a row, Jane drug herself into the office to make her presentation on Friday morning.
  3. Our cat drug some child’s old teddy bear up onto our front porch.
  4. I knew that we had bills to pay, but I dragged my feet when it came time to ask my parents to lend us money.
  1. CORRECT. Here we are talking about a different word than the one that means to pull along without picking up.
  2. dragged
  3. dragged
  4. CORRECT. Here is a good example of a sentence in which most American speakers would say (incorrectly) “drug my feet.”

Copyright 2001 Get It Write. Revised 2018.