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As a non-native speaker I have a (maybe trivial, but to me not clear) question concerning the verb 'to teach'. Of course, from school (and online dictionaries) I know the past tense of 'teach' is 'taught' not 'teached'. But in robotics 'to teach' has a special meaning (like: 'to make special ponts/orientations known to the (arm-)robot', e.g. by guiding the robot to those points/orientations.)

Does it make sense to have a different past tense for 'teach' (i.e. 'teached') in this case ? Maybe a reference were it is used/explained ?

(I would say 'No. The past of teach is taught, and that's it.', but some of my colleagues - also not native speakers - have a different opinion.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Check dict.leo.org is your language present there? to teach so. | taught, taught | $\endgroup$ – ott-- Feb 11 '15 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I've checked leo.org. I've edited the question. $\endgroup$ – Johannes Trost Feb 11 '15 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ I know this for dream, which allows both dreamed or dreamt. But not for teach. $\endgroup$ – ott-- Feb 11 '15 at 14:49
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If you have paid online or DVD access to Oxford English Dictionary, you can look up the entry for teached. Here is its entry from OED1 (1919 vintage, available free online):

Teached ... Obs. or dial. = TAUGHT. 1639 LO. DIGAY, etc. Lett. conc. Relig. (1651) 96 By the frequent misapprehension of the teached,..either let slip or supplanted. 1644 G. PLATTES in Hartlib's Legacy (1655) 176 The Teachers and the Teached were nothing else but the blind leading of the blind.

That is, OED (which typically is regarded as a definitive reference) in its first release referred to teached as obsolete or dialectic, and labels it as meaning taught.

Garner's Modern American Usage (2009, Oxford University Press) by Bryan Garner in its Teach > taught > taught entry states

*Teached is a form that isn't taught anywhere and is no part of STANDARD ENGLISH. But it sometimes appears –

and offers some examples of it appearing by mistake in American newspaper articles.

The en.wiktionary entry for teached labels it as “nonstandard, colloquial, dialectal” and offers some dialectal examples.

In short, use taught, not teached. But note that rather than referring to a robot “replaying a collection of taught poses”, more often one refers to it “replaying a collection of learned poses”, making the viewpoint that of the taught instead of of the teacher.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great research. Curiously, we have two forms also for the past of learn: learned and learnt; this time, both correct. $\endgroup$ – Ugo Pattacini Feb 11 '15 at 17:24

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