Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: tæcan 'to show, teach'


teach S1 W2 past tense and past participle taught

school/college etc

[intransitive and transitive] to give lessons in a school, college, or university, or to help someone learn about something by giving them information [↪ learn]
teach at
Neil teaches at the Guildhall School of Music in London.
teach (somebody) English/mathematics/history etc
He taught geography at the local secondary school.
teach somebody (something) about something
We were never taught anything about other religions.
teach something to somebody
I'm teaching English to Italian students.
teach school/college etc American English (=teach in a school etc)

show somebody how

[transitive] to show someone how to do something
teach somebody (how) to do something
My father taught me to swim.
different methods of teaching children how to read
teach somebody something
Can you teach me one of your card tricks?

change somebody's ideas

[transitive] to show or tell someone how they should behave or what they should think
teach somebody to do something
When I was young, we were taught to treat older people with respect.
teach somebody something
No one ever taught him the difference between right and wrong.
teach somebody that
He taught me that the easy option isn't always the best one.

experience shows something

[transitive] if an experience or situation teaches you something, it helps you to understand something about life
teach somebody to do something
Experience has taught me to avoid certain areas of the city.
teach somebody that
It's certainly taught me that work and money aren't the most important things in life.

that'll teach you (to do something)

spoken used when something unpleasant has just happened to someone because they acted stupidly:
That'll teach you to be late!

teach somebody a lesson

informal if someone or something teaches you a lesson, you are punished for something you have done, so that you will not want to do it again

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

used to say that older people often do not want to change the way they do things

teach your grandmother (to suck eggs)

British English to give someone advice about something that they already know

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