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"you were my teacher when i was in standard 4th. You thought me English" OR "You were my teacher when i was in standard 4th. You had thought me English" OR "You were my teacher when i was in standard 4th. You would or use to teach me English.

Which one should be correct to say?

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  • 1
    You were my fourth grade teacher. You taught me English.
    – Jim
    Mar 21, 2014 at 6:31
  • You were my teacher when I was in Grade-IV and you taught me English (considering ell.stackexchange.com/questions/19563/…) as you are Indian.
    – Maulik V
    Mar 21, 2014 at 7:13

1 Answer 1

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I should start by telling you you're using the wrong verb: you want 'to teach'

To Teach --> taught (past tense)
To Think --> thought (past tense)

It's not a mistake to feel bad about though. There are more irregular verbs in English than regular ones. Even in what I've said so far, there have been six irregular verbs.

Onto the question. You have three sentences. The first one is basic past tense:

You taught me English.

This means you were taught by the person in the past, but were not being taught anymore. This is what you want to say, and is correct to use.

The second sentence uses the pluperfect:

You had taught me English.

The pluperfect describes things that happens a long time ago in the past, but is normally only used when another event happened more recently in the past, and here you haven't added one, so it wouldn't be the best choice to say this. However, it is correct and natural.

Your third one uses the imperfect:

You used to teach me English.

You shouldn't use 'would' as you mentioned in the example, because that is the condition tense and is not correct to use here. Also, remember to say used (pronounced yoossed here) instead of 'use' for the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense describes something that happened regularly in the past, but not anymore, and would be correct to use.

To finish, you can say 'You taught me English' or 'You used to teach me English' in this case and both would be correct and natural.

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  • There are actually more regular verbs than irregular, but many of the most common verbs are irregular, and there are enough of them that learning them all is quite a task.
    – user230
    Mar 21, 2014 at 19:16
  • I figuratively speak in a figurative manner. ;)
    – MMJZ
    Mar 21, 2014 at 19:18
  • A note on the pronunciation: In this context, used to might be pronounced almost as if it's one word: "yoosta." So, you used to teach just about rhymes with you boost a breach. In other contexts, though, the pronunciation changes: the used to in This experiment is used to teach students about gravity is enunciated more deliberately than the used to in That experiment used to be my favorite lesson when I was a science teacher.
    – J.R.
    Mar 22, 2014 at 11:19

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