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What is the Past Tense of to Teach?

Hello again, fellow word enthusiasts! Let’s chat about a word that’s a cornerstone in the realm of learning and sharing knowledge: “teach.”

It’s a verb that pops up all the time, from classrooms to casual conversations about passing on skills and wisdom.

So, what’s the deal with its past tense?

In English, the past tense of “teach” is “taught.” It’s a neat little word that packs a punch, carrying the weight of imparting knowledge or skills that have already been shared.

What is the Past Tense of to Teach

Past Tense of “Teach”

When we use “taught,” we’re stepping into the past, looking back at a time when the teaching happened. It’s the word you reach for when you’re reminiscing about lessons given and knowledge shared.

Conjugation Table for “Teach”

Let’s break it down a bit more. Here’s how “teach” hops through different tenses:

PronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Iteachtaughthave taughtam teaching
You (singular)teachtaughthave taughtare teaching
He/She/Itteachestaughthas taughtis teaching
Weteachtaughthave taughtare teaching
You (plural)teachtaughthave taughtare teaching
Theyteachtaughthave taughtare teaching

Example Sentences

Let’s see “taught” in action, shall we?

  1. Simple Past
    • “Last week, I taught my nephew how to ride a bike.”
    • “In college, our professor taught us about Renaissance art.”
    • “He taught music in a small town for several years.”
  2. Present Perfect
    • “I have taught in different countries over the past five years.”
    • “She has taught several advanced yoga classes recently.”
    • “They have taught themselves coding through online courses.”
  3. Past Continuous
    • “I was teaching English when the power outage happened.”
    • “We were teaching them basic first aid when the ambulance arrived.”
    • “He was teaching piano during the summer of 2010.”
  4. Past Perfect
    • “Before moving to New York, she had taught in London for three years.”
    • “They had already taught the course twice before I enrolled.”
    • “I had taught at the university before starting my own business.”
What is the Past Tense of to Teach

Exploring “Teach”

The verb “teach” comes from the Old English “tǣcan,” meaning to show, instruct, or point out. It’s a verb that’s all about guiding and facilitating learning, whether it’s in an academic setting or teaching someone a new recipe.

Common Mistakes and Tips

Let’s clear up a few common mix-ups:

  1. Incorrect: I teach them how to make pottery last year. Correct: I taught them how to make pottery last year.
  2. Incorrect: He has teach in various schools across the country. Correct: He has taught in various schools across the country.
  3. Incorrect: We were teach them about renewable energy sources. Correct: We were teaching them about renewable energy sources.

A good rule of thumb: use “taught” when referring to any teaching action that has already concluded.

Nuances in Usage

  • Teach vs. Taught: While “teach” is used for present and future actions, “taught” is strictly for the past.
  • Idiomatic Expressions: Phrases like “teach someone a lesson” (often used metaphorically) rely on the context to determine the tense.


Mastering the use of “teach” and “taught” is more than just grammar—it’s about conveying your experiences and stories accurately.

It shows you’re not just adept at sharing knowledge; you’re doing it with linguistic precision.

Remember, every time you use these words correctly, you’re not just teaching English grammar; you’re also celebrating the rich tapestry of the language. Keep the learning (and teaching!) spirit alive!

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.

You can check other past tense words and our past tense resources by clicking on the links in the table below and in the resource list below that.

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We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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