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Past tense of “text”

Now that text messaging has become a normal method of communication, “text” appears to have become a verb, as in “Text your vote in now”. Once that vote has been sent, what is the past tense? I don’t think that I can bring myself to use “texted”, but always saying “sent a text message” seems to be a contrived way to avoid “texted”.

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There are approximately twenty irregular verbs that have all three forms the same, and most of these have been around for hundreds of years. And, as you show, most of these have a single vowel followed by a single consonant - hit, cut, etc and so are not really analogous. Only two, I think, end with a double consonant - cost and burst.

Meanwhile there are thousands of similarish verbs, such as test, post etc which form their 2nd and 3rd forms regularly. It's arguable whether text is a new verb or not, but in any case virtually all new verbs take regular past forms - fax, faxed; google, googled, tweet, tweeted etc. Why on earth should text be any different? What makes it so special that it should it be included in a tiny group which has been closed for over two centuries?

On an idiomatic note, the British (and I believe, original) version of 'get your panties in a bunch' is 'get your knickers in a twist'.

Warsaw Will May 7, 2015, 9:22am

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Why are we getting our panties in a bunch for the past tense of a simple word as 'text'. Its not that there are no words in English language which lives with all it's tenses past or past participle as same, such as 'Cost', 'Cut', 'Hit', 'Let'etc...

Why can't we leave 'text' alone with its own past tense?

My two cents

Dev May 5, 2015, 9:45am

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While "text" may not be considered a verb by all, the majority of people use it as such. Therefore, it should be treated like other regular verbs that end in a 't' or 'd' sound. Paint goes to painted, wait goes to waited, mend goes to mended, paste goes to pasted. Yes, there are verbs such as "find" and "fight" that have irregular past tense forms, but unless the speakers of common English are going to come up with an irregular past tense for for "text", then we should go with what makes sense....TEXTED. The reason we add a second syllable to these verbs ending with 't' or 'd' is so that we can mark the tense change so people know we are referring to a time in the past. Using "fax" as an example does not make any sense, because fax ends with an /s/ sound not a /t/ sound. Just because there is an 'x' in "text" does not make it the same as all other words that have 'x' them.

Linnea April 14, 2015, 10:51pm

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@chris beaver
Oops. I just saw that you reviewed the grammatical rules and did a little error analysis. You can keep your day job.

Grammarian February 22, 2015, 8:18pm

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@chris beaver
"As an English teacher" you should quit your day job. You really don't get it.

Grammarian February 22, 2015, 8:16pm

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with "texted". It's just a matter of people who don't understand grammatical rules hyper-correcting yet again. Btw, I'm a grammar nazi.

Grammarian February 22, 2015, 8:07pm

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@DRae - there has already been a lot of discussion about the 'put' group of verbs before your comment. Why make something irregular when a perfectly good regular version exists? The trend in English is towards regularisation, not the reverse. Why add a possibly ambiguous form when there is absolutely no need?

There isn't actually much disagreement about 'texted' except in forums like this:

'if she was going to go she would have texted us' - Oxford Dictionaries Online
tr.v. text·ed, text·ing, texts - 'She texted me when she arrived.' American Heritage at the Free Dictionary
' He texted a long wish list to his parents' - Random House at

As for hanged and hung - they are traditionally used in different contexts (also discussed above), although that distinction seems to be slipping.

Warsaw Will May 25, 2014, 5:18am

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In the meantime there seem to be lots more hits on google for phrases like "she texted yesterday" than "she text yesterday"; so at the moment "texted" seems more common.

jayles May 24, 2014, 5:40pm

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It is indeed true that some verbs have changed from the "ablaut" (vowel-change) sytem to the common "regular" inflection system, and a few have gone the other way. So technically there's no reason why "text" shouldn't one day become the standard past form. Stick around a few decades and we'll see.

jayles May 24, 2014, 5:33pm

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What about the verb "put"? Today I put my keys on the table. Yesterday I ____ [put] them there. I have always put them there. You don't say "putted".
The following verbs work this way. Hit. Hurt. Set. Split. Let. Bet. Cut. Burst. Why would the word "text" not work that way? The only reason I can think of is because too many people started saying "texted" and the result has been that others are hearing it that way... so they say it, too... because in their world it sounds right. Therefore, it is becoming common, even though, by my grammar background, "text" should be the proper past tense of the verb. If your mom says "I seen" or "they've went" the whole time you're growing up, those sound right to you. But they are wrong. And we do have rules in grammar for a reason.... so we can understand one another's thoughts and meanings. If we don't all follow the same rules, it causes confusion. Language must have rules. But language is fluid and changes over time. That's why English is such a mess in the first place... because it was influenced by so many different groups of people over a long period of time. Now here we are.... with a new word. And we can't agree on what to do with it. No doubt, however the media handles it, that is how everyone will eventually use it. Comfortable or not. Or it will end up being like other words that came to have options. Yesterday I [hanged or hung] the flowers on the balcony. There was probably a huge debate over that one once upon a time.

DRae May 24, 2014, 4:05pm

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And if you find it, it is no longer lost, but you can lose it again!

WiiWillie April 9, 2014, 3:16pm

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And if it happened yesterday, it was lost, you lost it and it has been lost.

SsparklingSsnowflake April 8, 2014, 6:52pm

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When you lose something, it is lost.

WiiWillie April 8, 2014, 6:01pm

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"lose" , "lost"? What are the differences?

Cute Guitarist April 8, 2014, 10:21am

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I have said texted but some non smart people have not evenben corrected and I take that as non smart

Jena February 10, 2014, 6:32am

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@Chris Beaver - you were unlucky to land on a page where at least two other English teachers are commenting, and I'm sorry if my previous comment was a bit brusque. Apropos your comment on workéd, when my EFL students do that I tell them only Shakespeare is allowed to pronounce it that way. They seem to quite like that.

Warsaw Will October 1, 2013, 11:36am

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I stand corrected. It simply does not sound correct to my ear, but after reviewing the rules of English, everyone is correct! You do pronounce the -ed at the end of "text." I am just used to correcting my ESL students when pronouncing the -ed in words like work, etc. My apologies!

Chris Beaver September 30, 2013, 10:37pm

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@Chris Beaver - why on earth 'as an English teacher' would it drive you crazy to hear a verb pronounced in its normal regular way? As an English teacher you will of course know that there are three ways of pronouncing regular past forms:

1. silent e followed by 't' - worked, hoped, dropped, pushed, slipped
these follow the voiceless consonants - p, k, s, ch, h, f, x, h

2. silent e followed by 'd' - played, called, damaged, encouraged, opened, stayed
these follow a larger group of voiced consonants and vowel sounds

3. voiced e followed by 'd' when the final consonant of the main verb form is t (as in jayles' examples - and in texted), or d, as in - sounded, graduated, hated, provided, treated

Texted is not at all like the verb worked, where the base verb form ends with the voiceless consonant k. The verb text ends with a t (sorry to state the obvious) so its past form naturally follows all other regular verbs ending in 't', and the final syllable is pronounced, just as in all others of that group.

Warsaw Will September 30, 2013, 5:12am

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@CB and "started"? "butted"? "farted"? "matted"? "tested"? "textiles"? "contextual"?

jayles September 30, 2013, 1:49am

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I'm OK with using "texted" as long as the "ed" is not pronounced when speaking it. As an English teacher it drives me crazy to hear someone pronounce it "text-ted." It's just like the work "worked," you don't pronounce it "work-ted." But as I see it, using texted in writing for the past tense of text is fine.

Chris Beaver September 30, 2013, 12:58am

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I am an elementary school teacher with the audacity to require that my parents make a strategic effort to use the grammatically correct form of English with their children at home, as unfortunately, the color of their skin or even the intonation of their phrasing would be enough to cut them out of a job without adding the further impediment of a dialect perceived as a measure of intellect or ability. While teaching regular verbs in the past tense, I invariably have to state the rule someone mentioned further back in the thread: Regular verbs whose roots end in "t" or "d" always get a sounded "e", while all other regular verbs get a silent "e" when (-ed) is added. What I noticed is that my students will often overkill attempts to refrain from sounding the "ed" as "dead"(as in drop-ded), by neglecting to sound the "e" in ANY word which has the suffix (-ed). What sticks with them is that the sound of "dead" is "bad"(overgeneralization and classic modern day American problem -that of overgeneralization or taking things to extremes without thought - which will ultimately be our country's downfall as there are those poised to capitalize on this weakness) Back to the matter at hand, my urban 6 year olds forget that, in some cases, when following the rules, of the English language, you will hear "dead" or "ted" at the ends of regular verbs. Since it the word "text" now has widespread use as a verb and it endss in "t", it should be pronoinced TEX-TED, following the traditional rules of English, which is NOT the same as saying fix-ded or drop-ded, but probably evokes some feelings of wrongness (not a word) due to your elementary school teacher harping on wrkng uses of ted or ded or ed. Personally, I stick with the rules of English, but I assume that what rolls off the tongue most naturally for the majority of Americans is what will prevail in the end. Such is the way of the American masses. Whether it makes me and other lovers of language and diction cringe and whether rules of grammar are breached are moot at thus point in our country's evolution. Really important is whether we CAN and will attempt to understand each other when we commimicate. I will mot, however, be berated for following correct rules of English grammar before the rules have officially been changed. I think that is what bothers me about this debate. Also, what bothers me is the inability of some to acquire new information and an accompanyg set of rules and discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate applications of those rules.For those who call to mind the irregular verbs ending in "t", look up the reasons for their irregularity.

iboteecha August 17, 2013, 2:44pm

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@Really?? - while agreeing with your grammatical conclusions, I wonder whether it is really necessary to be quite so condescending.

Warsaw Will June 22, 2013, 11:10am

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*Remove the 'are'.

Jasper June 20, 2013, 2:23pm

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We're are not ignorant of the rules of English, but the question is whether the word 'text' should follow the conjugation of regular verbs or irregular verbs.

Jasper June 20, 2013, 2:23pm

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I never comment on these types of things...usually just enjoy reading the mindless banter. But I can hardly believe how many people are so ignorant regarding the English language. People really, it's not that difficult. Stop and think for just a moment. Stop saying it "sounds funny" to say "texted." It is not like we are saying "he walked-ed the dog" or "she closed-ed" the door. Yes, those examples DO sound funny....because the past tense addition of "ed" was duplicated unnecessarily, and of course, incorrectly. Just because "text" ends in the letter "t" does not make it an exception in tense just because you think it sounds funny. Here are a few examples...say these words to yourself then follow up by saying "texted" maybe it won't seem so strange anymore: "The storm LASTED ten minutes." "The man EXITED the building." "I TESTED the temperature of the water. " "My dad RESTED on the sofa."
I could go on and on with verbs that end in "t" that properly transform to past tense with the simple addition of "ed" at the end of the word. So there you have it....LASTED, EXITED, TESTED, RESTED.... AND
...TEXTED. Make sense? Saying "text" as the past tense sounds lazy and uneducated, like when some people - instead of saying ASK- say "AKS" (sounding like "axe"). Don't be one of those people...don't be lazy. Use proper English. It is TEXTED. :) Get to know it.

Really?? June 20, 2013, 1:39am

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Today I am texting my friend. Yesterday I "texted" him. Sounds absolutely right to me,

Glln April 23, 2013, 1:25am

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BOBTHEBUILDER February 2, 2013, 7:32am

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The past tense of "text" is "texted", whether it sounds good to your ears or not. I never knew so many people have trouble with basic english. It's Texted you fucks.

BOBTHEBUILDER February 2, 2013, 7:31am

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@Alison - how on earth can 'ex' be a vowel sound? - If anything it's a vowel plus a double consonant sound - 'eks'. Are 'es' and 'is' also vowel sounds? Why should 'ext' in 'text' be treated any differently to 'est' in 'test / tested' or 'ist' in 'list / listed'? Sorry, that's a lot of questions, but I'm genuinely puzzled. And has already been said, new verbs (if it is indeed new) are invariably regular, and all the dictionaries I've looked at list 'text' as a regular verb:

- I texted her to arrange a time to meet. (Cambridge)
- If she was going to go she would have texted us. (Oxford)
- I texted her a little while ago. (Merriam-Webster)
- She texted me when she arrived. (American Heritage Dictionary - via The Free Dictionary)

Personally, I can't see one single linguistic reason why 'text' should be anything but regular.

Warsaw Will January 17, 2013, 12:52pm

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I say faxed because it ends with an x, not and xt. Clearly, my argument was based on verbs that end in t, so if you'd like to give me an example of a a verb that ends with t preceded by a vowel sound that ends with ed in the past tense then I will concede my point.

Alison January 16, 2013, 3:40pm

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Interesting. Do you say fax or faxed?

Methatica January 16, 2013, 11:51am

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After reading many arguments for both sides here's my two cents: the verb text should be considered irregular and should not be conjugated in the simple past tense as a regular verb. The reason I have come to this conclusion is because of the vowel sound created by the combination of ex in the middle of the word. This makes the verb text behave phonically like a word that ends with t preceded by a vowel, such as hit or cut, rather than a verb that ends with t preceded by a consonant, such as start. Grammatical rule changes based on phonics is not unheard of (pun intended) since we all know to precede some nouns beginning with the consonant h with "an" rather than "a" based on that fact that words like hour sound as though they begin with a vowel. Therefore, I will use text as both the present and past tense of the verb to text.

Alison January 16, 2013, 11:39am

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'Brings in', blast it.

Skeeter Lewis January 2, 2013, 1:29am

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'Text' is 'written', surely?
'I wrote you a text.'
Back in the real world, though - yes, it's 'texted'. New technology - like the printing press in days of yore - always bring in new words.

Skeeter Lewis January 2, 2013, 1:22am

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Wouldn'tthe easiest solution be for us all to be less lazy and just say "Text Messaged"? "Texted" sounds unintelligent anyway. I can't bring myself to say all. If you are in that much of a hurry..... like, "Someones gonna die if I say more words than necessary", then "I" think the "fastest past tense" should be simply "Text", as in, "I text her earlier, but got no response." There are plenty of words in the English language which share the rule that present, and past tense, are the same spelling:

hit and hit
hurt and hurt
Let and let
Quit and Quit
Set and Set
Shut and Shut
Spread and Spread
Cut and Cut
Wet and Wet

Thanks for your consideration : )

Mr. Webster January 1, 2013, 11:18pm

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Well maybe not hundreds... Perhaps I was having a lucid moment :-)

However, that's another good point you raise regarding burn/burned and burn/burnt, though. Effectively, that has become a new verb.

But adding 'ed', making a weak verb, does sound the most appropriate way to bring it into the past tense.

But that's just English! Hehe

Methatica September 7, 2012, 12:01pm

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@Methatica - you're obviously more imaginative than me; I doubt I could manage five.:) Except as I live in Poland, I would have to say 'I sent you an SMS'; text is not really used much in international English, at least not here. Anyway, I see texted seems to be winning the day on your Facebook page. Good sense prevails!

@the naysayers
Other newish technology verbs:
ping - pinged (not pang)
tweet - tweeted (not twet or twat)
ngram - ngrammed
google - googled
rip - ripped

All these other new techie verbs are regular, so even if AnWulf is wrong and text is a new verb, why should it be any different from these other verbs? And I bet most people say they burned a CD, not burnt a CD, even in the UK, where in the standard meaning of burn, burnt is the more popular past form.

It's not as if the alternatives put forward have much to offer. And I really can't understand why anyone would feel he had to 'admit that he was guilty of using the word "texted" when telling someone that [he] just sent them a text message' ( @lush). If we can say 'I phoned you', 'I called you', 'I emailed you', why on earth should someone feel guilty for saying 'I texted you'. It's beyond me!

Warsaw Will September 7, 2012, 10:06am

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Agreed that hanged and hung are absolutely different in definition, but as a base verb both, ultimately, 'hang'. And it is just an example of how two verbs, at the fundamental level, are the same, but branch off in different directions through evolution.

Again, I am in agreement with the verb tenses, but I bet, if you really put you mind to it, you can find hundreds of way of saying 'I sent you a text'. ;-)

Methatica September 7, 2012, 12:37am

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@Methatica - I totally agree with you that one of the joys of the English language is that it is organic, but the underlying principles don't change so much. There are precisely twelve active tenses, and eight passive, hardly hundreds. And even the 180 or so irregular verbs, of which we commonly use less than a hundred, follow relatively few patterns which are easily recognisable.

By the way, I was always brought up to believe that hang/hanged and hang/hung had two rather different meanings: people get hanged; things, like pictures, get hung.

@Monocle - The verbs you list form a pretty well closed group. How many of these verbs have been coined in the last hundred years? Or even two hundred? Precisely one - preset, and that's simply the prefix pre added to an existing irregular verb. Of the rest the youngest is bust, which dates back to 1764, and is really a variation of the irregular verb bust. All the others are from at least 1600, and many of them date back to 1200 or beyond, as I'm sure AnWulf will be able to verify. Incidentally two of your examples - sweat and knit - are totally regular. And interestingly, one - fit is regular in BrE, but can be irregular in AmE. There are really no precedents for totally new verbs joining this august band. And absolutely none for text texd.

Virtually every new verb that enters the language is regular, and even when old verbs are put to new uses, they tend to be given a regular form. Hence a baseball batter 'flied out', not 'flew out'. In fact, the number of irregular verbs is declining, not increasing.

There's an interesting discussion about this at StackExchange -

Warsaw Will September 6, 2012, 1:25pm

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Your right, but never in the same context.

And so consequently, it is, effectively a new verb. I'm just interested to see how it evolves.

For example: hang/hanged hang/hung. Both similar verbs with similar meanings - but the operative word is similar, not the same.

Not that I disagree with you about the past tense being 'texted', it's just a thought. That's all!

Methatica September 6, 2012, 12:39pm

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OK, once again ... text has been in English language as a VERB for over 400 ... that's four HUNDRED years. For those four hundred years, the past tense has been "texted". This is not something new!

If folks want to try to change it strong, irregular verb ... giv it a try. But as it stands now, the right past tense is "texted".

AnWulf September 6, 2012, 12:31pm

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Ultimately, the issue we all face is that 'text', as a verb, is a product of evolution, and was not a real word until the concept of 'texting' came about. We are also faced with the fact that English is a complex language with many hundreds of tenses and verbs, seemingly all with a different set of rules, but always with an elusive 'exception'.

There are rules to support every argument, but I think that ultimately every rule you throw at it is utterly pointless and it should be left to its creation, evolution. I, more often than not, here people saying 'texted', so I am left to conclude that 'texted' is the accepted verb.

But it is for the reasons I have mentioned that I love the English language. It is organic and always changing. We can weave thousands of different verbs and nouns together to create a single idea and yet, with all these variations, we still understand what we're talking about.

Methatica September 6, 2012, 9:05am

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Monocle (et al.) - do we really need to add extra irregular verbs to the language when the perfectly regular 'texted' is already in common use and understandable?

To counter your list, how about - vet / vetted - pet / petted - arrest / arrested - reflect / reflected... why not text / texted...?

Thredder September 6, 2012, 2:58am

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Reconsidered ! I agree with Rima ."it's so simple"

A number of verbs are irregular and don't change in the past tense, most end with the letter -- T

Beat - Cost - Cut - Hurt - Let - Put - Set - Bet - Hit - Quit - Shut - Read - Spread -
Wet - Thrust - Upset - Split - Slit - Shed - Preset - Bust - Bid - Burst- Fit - Wed
Knit - Sweat - Upset

Good precedence that ' Text ' logically and phonetically be treated similarly..

Monocle September 5, 2012, 5:47pm

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txt -- txd

Text -- Texd

Job done

Monocle September 5, 2012, 3:18pm

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Hey all,

Just revised the poll on FB…

Methatica August 27, 2012, 12:42am

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I've been reading, with great interest, and I've started a poll on Facebook to get a gist of the use of the word.

Have a vote: here's the link…

Methatica August 26, 2012, 12:07pm

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Sorry, that should have read - All regular verbs whose base form ends in T or D sound the 'ed' syllable

Warsaw Will August 19, 2012, 6:33am

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@Ruthyphro - we are not actually discussing the past participle, we are discussing the past simple or preterite. But as a new verb (in the SMS meaning at least), and so regular, admittedly the preterite and the PP would be the same thing. And AnWulf's example in 'Let him be largely ***texted*** in your love', texted is not an adjective, this is a passive version of - May you largely text him in your love' or something similar.

@Kat - I completely agree with you. Texted has the advantage that it can't be confused with the noun or the base form of the word. I really can't see any problem with treating 'text' as you would any other regular verb, nor can I see any advantages in the alternatives being offered; they sound to much like text for me.

@crashdummy - it's only the last letter that matters, the X is neither here nor there. All English verbs that end in T or D sound the 'ed' syllable. Why should text be any different?

@Karyn - why should text be anything other than regular - verbs that don't change their form are are extremely rare - cost, cut, hit, let, put, and shut, although they do admittedly all end in T. But no verbs have been added to this list for centuries. New verbs are invariably regular.

Warsaw Will August 19, 2012, 5:54am

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I'm with Warsaw Will ... Bart didn't look too hard ... heck, all he had to do is scroll up a bit a the links and quotes are in my comments.

AnWulf August 17, 2012, 3:25pm

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@Bart - Fascinated to know where you did your research. I've just checked ten dictionaries, and 'text' is listed as a verb in all but one of them. In any case we also have the noun 'texting', which as a gerund form must have originally come from a verb. New verbs in English are invariably regular, so I'm afraid your 'put, put, put' argument is not really appropriate.

Personally, I can't understand why anyone would have a problem with 'texted, let alone feel guilty about using it (@lush) .

Warsaw Will August 16, 2012, 2:29pm

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You wouldn't say "puted", or "cuted". As peple would think you're a retard. :)

Bart August 15, 2012, 2:04pm

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After doing some research as this was driving me mad, the word "text" is officially a noun. therefore it has no past tense to it. If it were to be a verb I would happily say it is "text" for past tense, after looking at similar words mentioned above, ie, Put, eg, "PUTTING something on the table" but the past tense of the word is still "Put". same with "Cut", Cut, Cutting, Cut. And from that I can happily conclude that the Past tense of "text" is "text". Text, Texting, Text.

IF it were to be a verb though. And because it is not, if you were ever tempted to say "I texted you earlier", just say "I sent you a text earlier".

I hope this makes sense to you all :)

Bart August 15, 2012, 2:00pm

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I think the problem comes from the fact that when you say "text," some people think it sounds like "texed" (pronounced like "text", similar to "faxed"), so adding an -ed to that would be weird (texeded).

Personally, I believe that the root verb is text, and to make it past tense you add the -ed. Texted sounds fine to me, because the "t" at the end of "text" is just that. It's a "t". It's as if you took the word "grant" and made it past tense: granted. Why isn't that uncomfortable to say? (You don't think of it as "granned" in your head, you think of it as "grant". Same as you say grant-ed not grand-ed.)

Does anyone agree with me?

Kat July 7, 2012, 11:50am

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@Ruthyphro - "Let him be largely ***texted*** in your love. That all the city may read it fairly ..." That's not an adjectiv unless you're talking about noting the -ed PAST TENSE of a VERB as an adjective which is done. Here texted means means make it in big letters ... big enuff "That all the city may read it fairly."

Text as a verb is NOT new. It's been noted for centuries.

But if yu don't like that one, how about this:

To make the Great Rolls, which want it, more useful to the Public, it is humbly proposed, that they be new covered, marked, and ***texted***, the Records which lie in Chests to be bound up and labelled; ... Rob Gardner, Dep. Cl. Pipe. 16 Mar 1731.

AnWulf June 22, 2012, 11:10am

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Okay, after reaing enough of this discussion, made up my mind what I will do. When writing it will be text'd, and when spoken will be tex'd, close to text, but with a d , sounding similar to silent duh at the end of the word, as opposed to a two syllable ed soiund at the end. Not trying to convence anyone of right or wrong since finding that from this discussion everyone wil do whatever they want. Just sounds right to me.

WiiWillie June 21, 2012, 9:26am

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AnWulf, we are discussing the past participle of the new verb 'text', your example is of an adjective.

Language is contingent and 'texted' is commonly used as the past participle of the verb 'text'.

However, it seems that 'text' is neater and less retarded sounding haha ;

Ruthyphro June 9, 2012, 4:23pm

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@Karyn ... Huh? What "rule of thumb" would that be?

M-W has "texted"
OED has "texted"

Texted, as a pasted tense, has been in use for about 350 years:
"Oh, nephew, are you come ! the wel- comest wish That my heart has ; this is my kinsman, sweet. Wife. Let him be largely ***texted*** in your love. That all the city may read it fairly ..." — William Rowley, "Woman Never Vext", 1632

How much more proof do you need that "texted" is right?

AnWulf April 13, 2012, 10:29am

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It would seem, if we follow the rule of thumb, that the correct past tense of 'text' should be 'text'.

I sent a text.
I will text you, I did text you, I have text you.


Karyn April 10, 2012, 5:39am

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I wonder what they would have said in Jesuses day.

radical1 March 19, 2012, 1:06pm

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AIVA March 11, 2012, 1:41pm

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It's so simple: There are irregular verbs in English. cut,cut,cut or run, ran, run. It's easier than saying cutted or runned.. The same applies to text: text,text,text. Come on everyone, no need to make it complicated !!! :)

Rima March 3, 2012, 7:46pm

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"Texted" is a word!!!!!!!
check this link, and also scroll down, I copied the whole dictionary entry for "text".
Scroll to the last part and read that part!
text (tkst)
a. The original words of something written or printed, as opposed to a paraphrase, translation, revision, or condensation.
b. The words of a speech appearing in print.
c. Words, as of a libretto, that are set to music in a composition.
d. Words treated as data by a computer.
2. The body of a printed work as distinct from headings and illustrative matter on a page or from front and back matter in a book.
3. One of the editions or forms of a written work: After examining all three manuscripts, he published a new text of the poem.
4. Something, such as a literary work or other cultural product, regarded as an object of critical analysis.
5. A passage from the Scriptures or another authoritative source chosen for the subject of a discourse or cited for support in argument.
6. A passage from a written work used as the starting point of a discussion.
7. A subject; a topic.
8. A textbook.
tr.v. text·ed, text·ing, texts
1. To send a text message to: She texted me when she arrived.
2. To communicate by text message: He texted that he would be late.

Proof207 February 8, 2012, 10:00am

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I don't imagine there is much debate about whether or not the past tense of TEXT is TEXTED - when written. It's how the past tense of TEXT is pronounced.

One school of thought compares TEXTED with the past tense of verbs which end in X such as FAXED. That could make TEXTED one syllable.

The other compares TEXTED with the past tense of verbs which end in T such as COASTED. That could make TEXTED two syllables.

Since TEXTED combines X and T, that really opens it up for confusion.

Toe may toe, toe mah toe ;p

crashdummy January 24, 2012, 11:57pm

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@another try ... most verbs that end in "t" take an "ed" past tense ... painted, boasted, roasted, asf.

M-W has texted as the past tense:

I texted her a little while ago.
I texted a message to her.
She just texted me back.

AnWulf January 24, 2012, 3:03pm

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I just made a post on this, but as I wrote to somebody that I made a post, I thought...posted. Hey, that's pretty similar.

If you're going to write a scholarly article, I suggest you just use a workaround phrase and use far too many words, as most scholarly articles often do.

photog January 22, 2012, 9:53pm

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This is a long topic or case or whatever it's called.

I subscribe to "texted" as the proper past tense as the verb for of "text" meaning, to send a text message.

FYI, I will say a word in caps that I am separating from the rest of the sentence instead of using quotation marks.

The word TEST for example, sounds similar, though the X adds an extra KS sound. Say TESTED. I am taking a test. I am testing. I am being tested. They will be tested tomorrow. They will have been tested tomorrow. They have been tested. And now, I am sending a text. I am texting. I am being texted. They will be texted tomorrow. They wil have been texted tomorrow.

If you say that through a couple times, you will catch on how to say it. Don't say it slow and sloppy like you're unsure if that's correct. Say it confident and just imagine you're saying TEST.

As for the past tense of TEXT being TEXT, I disagree. I understand words like HIT, but this isn't quite the same. I'm not sure of any technical reason why, but it's similar to MEDAL in the Olympics, etc. It's a noun turned into a verb. It's like PLANK. If you haven't heard what planking is, I think it's just laying somewhere random like a plank of wood. So, planked, planking, etc. I also just saw something similar in a previous post, EMAIL. EMAILED. TEXTED just sounds different and to some people it sounds wrong because the only thing they can bring to mind is HITTED, which of course, should be HIT. I think the techno jargon is a large part of it. Technology terminology fits into the lexicon pretty quickly, and it's obviously been irritating to those who don't really consider all possibilities.

If I say I TEXT YOU and mean to tell them that it is something that I did in the past, there is no other context to indicate that it has already happened and has ended. Saying I TEXT YOU just implies that it is an ongoing action with no discernible ending or maybe even beginning.

photog January 22, 2012, 9:48pm

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Also: quit:quit, slit:slit, set:set, put:put. Perhaps a rule might be that if it ends in "t" then the plural is the same as the singular.

AnotherTry June 10, 2011, 6:32am

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Text will probably go regular in the past tense i.e. "texted" but the past tense could also easily be "text." as in the past tense of other verbs ending in "t": burst:burst, cut:cut, cost:cost, cast:cast, bet:bet. The tendency seems to be to make words regular - note the use of "mouses", not "mice" for more than one computer mouse.

AnotherTry June 10, 2011, 4:40am

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Yes, my poor attempt at one at least.

Chris B May 30, 2011, 11:09pm

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chrisbolton20, "whole nother" is a little joke, right?

erica May 30, 2011, 1:12pm

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I don't mind the FYI world of electronic communication, but when people say "eff why eye" in conversation and want to touch base with me, that's a whole nother matter.

chrisbolton20 May 6, 2011, 10:24pm

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My best friend and I have this debate daily, as she is a text messaging machine. I do not text, so I do not use the word "texted" in any conversation, not even when I ask if she sent a message to someone. However, when I hear someone say 'texted" I want to immediately tell them that isn't a word and if it is a word it shouldn't be because it sounds terrible. Why can't it just be text? I will text you tomorrow. I sent you a text. We were text messaging all day etc...I always thought of "text" as written words. Just saying it sounds a little wrong to add the "ed" to the end of text. That's my .02 on this subject. I will note that I will not text, be text"ed" (ha)... well, I may write an old fashion letter, but not on my phone. I don't even think I use the word "emailed". But I'm also one of those that cannot get into the whole OMG, TMI, FYI, world of language.

Dawn May 5, 2011, 8:29pm

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Language is a living thing and the vernacular is defined by those that speak it. The youth of our world have embraced text messaging and made it their own and they say "texted" pronouncing all of it "text - ed". So with all due respect to Webster and dissertations everywhere - Those that hold the real power on this, have spoken! Remember, too, every grammar rule has its exceptions. Weird isn't it?

Mrs.D. April 27, 2011, 8:29am

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I have always though it should be "text" not "texted" it sounds awful. To read and have read...text and text...or tex'd

Robert April 24, 2011, 12:35pm

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Though I cannot think of one right now, I believe there is a verb (or some verbs) that use the same word for present and past tense forms. If that is correct, then we could say "yesterday I text you". Can anyone think of the verb(s) that is (are) treated this way?

Lois April 20, 2011, 5:26pm

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So what is the correct way to say it, spell it, use it, whatever?

strokerspark April 1, 2011, 11:10am

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I just can't handle the two guys in the commercial, and the one guy say you just texsed me? CRINGE!!!!

strokerspark April 1, 2011, 11:08am

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Crashdummy: Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense now. However I'd say (for me) that emphasizing the "d" is something I'd have to do consciously. That's because "tex" (which, phonetically, is "teks") ends in an unvoiced sound, which naturally makes me pronounce the "d" as "t", just like I would in "vexed" or "faxed".

Chris B March 29, 2011, 4:51pm

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Chris, you are right. Text DOES end in "t" and your examples are good.

MY pronounciation of texted is to give it a one syllable sound by emphasizing the "d" at the end - making it tex/d/. The "x" sound is a strong one and, I was comparing it to similar words which contain it: vex, fax, max, hex, flex, ... Those are words which keep the one syllable sound.

crashdummy March 28, 2011, 6:45pm

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Crashdummy: You describe your pronunciation of the past tense as "text'd" but say it only has one syllable. What do you mean by this exactly? How does this differ from just "text"?

"I can't think of other similar words which would change from a one syllable sound for the present to a two syllable sound for the past."

There are heaps of verbs that do this: rest-ed, wait-ed, post-ed, hand-ed, end-ed, ...
In fact I'd go as far as to say that any one-syllable verb ending in "d" or "t" becomes a two-syllable word in the past tense, as long as it's a regular past tense with the -ed ending.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Chris B March 28, 2011, 3:34pm

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There shouldn't be a question of whether or not it's text or texted for past tense. It clearly needs to be written as texted. The only question, to me, is how it's pronounced. I say text for present tense; text'd for past. I can't think of other similar words which would change from a one syllable sound for the present to a two syllable sound for the past. Should texted become an awkward two syllable word or remain a word syllable word as text'd?

crashdummy March 26, 2011, 12:15pm

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QUESTION: I’m sure you’ve been asked this before, but I need to know. What is the past tense of “to text”? And if it has not been officially decided, who decides when new words are part of the dictionary? This certainly needs to be addressed. Thanks. Sincerely, Al Gore/Inventor jk...

RESPONSE: The verb “text” is conjugated according to the normal English pattern, so the past tense would be “I texted.” Here at Merriam-Webster, we have a series of criteria that a word has to meet to be considered for entry in our dictionary. We spend a certain amount of time every day scouring all sorts of published material for examples of new words, and when we find them, they go into our citation database. When we revise our dictionary, we check the database to see if any of these new words have enough support to warrant their entry. For more information on the process and criteria we use to enter words in the dictionary, please visit our Web site at Daniel Brandon,Associate Editor, Merriam-Webster Inc.

ceo November 14, 2010, 4:58am

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i always just say "hey, i text you yesterday"

qbnj85 November 11, 2010, 11:22pm

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Google has already picked it up.

lindalouiseelliott September 22, 2010, 4:18pm

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This is all very simple: most verbs ending in d or t (hard sound) pronounce the ted at the end. Rest is rested. Nest is nested. Head is headed. Need is needed. Text is texted. Story ended.

d.batt September 21, 2010, 10:17pm

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This is all very simple: most verbs ending in d or t (hard sound) pronounce the ted at the end. Rest is rested. Nest is nested. Head is headed. Need is needed. Story ended.

d.batt September 21, 2010, 10:11pm

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Interesting reading. We've been texting seriously for ten years and we still haven't figured it out.
"Texted" makes the most sense to me (and that's what I say). Someone mentioned verbs ending in triple consonant sounds; the nearest ones (other than "text") I can think of are "jinx" and "inch", and it seems we can all handle "jinxed" and "inched".
If we're going to say "text" as the past tense then logically we must also write "text". But wait! We all write "fifth" and "sixth" (some more examples of tricky consonant combinations) but they often come out like "fith" and "sickth". So we don't always say what we write.

chrisbolton20 July 1, 2010, 3:08am

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I'm going to say TEX-tid simply because saying "text" sounds like I haven't actually finished the verb yet and I'm ending the word early. "I text you." sounds like I'm talking like a neanderthal in the present tense. "Ugh ugh, me text you!" Texted isn't that difficult to say, and it's clearer than the homonym style.

thebaron87 June 11, 2010, 7:35pm

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Make that "offer" and "past". Don't know what happened there.

never May 27, 2010, 8:18am

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I'll just off that the pst tense of cut is cut, put is put, and I do hope text evolves the same way.

never May 27, 2010, 8:17am

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"Texed"? Wouldn't that be the past tense of just "tex"? Such as, "texing" someone? It doesn't even have a definition O_o. Just sayin'. I hope we figure this out eventually!

laceytanai March 5, 2010, 1:10am

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I never said I was correct - I just said what I used. Sheesh!

lotbenth February 22, 2010, 10:44am

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Well, You are wrong

cjdesmond February 22, 2010, 10:10am

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I say text the same whether I in the past or present tense, but would write it as texted in the past tense!

lotbenth February 18, 2010, 8:46am

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Simply, in the english language if the word ends in a "t" then in the preterit of that word the "ed" must be pronounced, just as in the word "tested".

cjdesmond February 15, 2010, 9:15am

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??? Love reading these, Wish I had more time to post my 3 pence worth!!!

ceo January 29, 2010, 3:50pm

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Hi Jason

You are "correct" of course :) I agree and usually say the same to people ... I think (or at least I usually) put *'s or "s around words like correct and incorrect; usually at first and then I get lazy and/or forget/assume they remember my "looser" meaning of the word correct - This was influenced by 30 years as a programmer both in terms of having to conform to a much stricter syntax "correctness" / a background in formal logic where words like "valid" and "true" get "incorrectly" interchanged and also a Buddhist background where we talk of "correctness" in a Daoist sense :)

I think to wind-up though it depends on exactly which question people ask; examples

Can we use the noun "Text" as a verb - definitely yes

In using this verb in the past tense would it be correct to spell it as "text" - definitely depends on context - in a question where "did" renders it "tenseless" it is correct

In using this verb in the past tense would it be correct to spell it as "texted" - definitely yes - for the reasons you gave and the OED definition

If the person starts a debate by saying "if you spell / pronounce the word text in the past tense as texted you are wrong" then they are definitely "wrong"; which is what my friend said to me :)

Strangely enough though my personal "journey" was this. I used to say "texed" and thought that people who said "texted" were like the people who say (or pronounce) "drowneded" - probably because I heard it mostly on the UK equivalent of "The Jerry Springer Show" - it just sounded wrong. I don't know when or why but a few years ago I made the change and now "Texed" sounds completely "wrong" and "texted" seems logical - I have no idea why I never used to use it or why "Texed" ever sounded "right" - just the power of the wiring of the brain I guess

Anyway ... It's been really insightful ... thank you so much

I'll be sending my friend to this site :)

m.mouse January 28, 2010, 6:45pm

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You are right that "text" gets used in past-tense sentences, as your question examples illustrate. However, what people were arguing about before was whether "text" could be the past-tense form in simple declarative sentences: "I texted you last night" vs. "I text (texed) you last night". Frankly, it surprised me that anyone would have thought to use the latter form, because of the following:

The reason I asked for other examples was because irregular word forms (such as build-built) are irregular because they are very old words that have survived through centuries of sound changes. Words that enter the language through borrowing or "verbizing", however, always conform to the language's inflectional system -- what are referred to as its "productive" morphemes. In English, "-ed" as a past tense suffix is productive, and no other past tense form is, to my knowledge. So "built" does not conform to the pattern, but it is a very old word, so we need not consider it. If a new word, such as "text" as a verb, enters English and takes on a past tense suffix other than "-ed", that would be truly remarkable. If you ever find such a word, post it here! But as I said before, I would be amazed if you ever do.

By the way, be careful about using the word "correct" in linguistic discussions. Many people contend (and I agree with them) that there is no sensible definition of correctness in language, only statements about how a language is used. So in the above, I have not described "text" (past tense) as wrong, but simply counter to the way that we know English to work in all other cases.

jls.junkmail January 28, 2010, 6:21pm

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Have you seen the movie Avatar ... there's a link on IMDB in trivia for that movie about how they invented 1,000 words that were easy to pronounce and weren't like any words in any other language (near on impossible I would have thought!) Some of it did sound like Native American/Indian dialects to me. But it kind of reminded me of Tolkein inventing his languages in The Lord of the Rings, etc.

I was also talking to a friend the other day from the UK who learnt Japanese while he lived there ... for any plurals / multiples instead of adding -S, -ES, etc. as we sometimes do they just say the word twice - which I found quite quaint/unusual/funny


m.mouse January 28, 2010, 6:16pm

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Yes     No