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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

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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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 Sep-30-2013

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When you lose something, it is lost.

WiiWillie Apr-08-2014

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

WiiWillie Apr-09-2014

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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 Feb-22-2015

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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-05-2015

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How about matching/comparing it with the word CAST. We don't say the director casted the movie, we say "He cast the movie". How about just saying "I text you, I will text you, I have text you" as in I have cast the movie/ I cast the movie (I'm being redundant).

Yes, it iS a quandary. At least its not has hideous as: "I aksed /AXED my mom what time it was". GEEZ! How can that poor word be butchered (axed) so badly- talk about lazy speak (oh-oh, I verbed a noun- eeeeee!). Is it an Ebonic thing, a south thing?A race thing?(can't be, lots of different races use that particular way of saying "ASK". Sigh....sooooo sad. Another one I've heard recently in the north east (NY) area is "Expecially" instead of especially - How the HAY does THAT happen? OUCH!

People that don't talk good are so laxidazy! - How's that one for ya?!!

gabriele Jan-10-2016

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I don't know why but "texted" sounds wrong to me!

Julia wilsdon Feb-26-2016

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I used to use "texted" but it sounds all wrong, so I went to "text", and i do believe for me the explanation from Tranaut suits me just fine.

Debe Aug-18-2016

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"I sent him a text"

Gman Oct-25-2016

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If the past tense of twist (a verb) is twisted then the past tense of text (also a verb) would be texted, would it not?

OSUBerk Nov-04-2016

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Spelt: texed
Pronounced: texd or text... as one can't really hear the difference.
Easy way to get over that troublesome t thing.

Monocle Mar-20-2017

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aided, braided, crated, decided, faked, gated, hiked, jeered, kicked, licked, mated, noted, prattled, quibbled, rested, stated, tested, urinated, voted, waited, AND TEXTED!!!!!

kay joseph Aug-09-2017

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Just hard for me to believe,"texted" would be proper. Just saying ????????????????????

Jesse Wade Atkins Feb-14-2018

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no entiiendoh naa xD

natsumii May-09-2007

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I see your point, Porsche, but not everyone agrees. I got this info from this:
http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2007/05/textual-criticism.html
which states that this usage of "text" as a verb is cited in the OED. I don't have the OED to check, it could be a mistake.

John4 May-30-2007

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Is the verb in it's correct tense if I say, "an authorized agent, " or " an authorize agent?

Gbryan Jun-07-2007

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I'm writing a speech about this.. Do you people ut there say ''She texted me last night'' or ''She text me last night''?? It;s really bothering me..

CANMONEY Jan-29-2008

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Thank you in advance for anyone who decides to go past the point im making and point out the flaws in my hurried statement. Please just stick to the actual topic at hand....this is a good topic.

Ralliart403 Dec-01-2008

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It's the same as " vex " using " vexed " as the past tense !

WaldoX Dec-27-2008

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"That was so fun."
Do you mean to suggest that there is something wrong with this phrase, Mark?

bjhagerman Oct-06-2009

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Sorry, I didn't mean "on purpose," I meant "appropriate."

douglas.bryant Oct-09-2009

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Hey guys, just reading through your comments, trying to weave through your explanations and I came up with one example that no one has talked about yet, and that gave me pause in completely agreeing with Mark: shit. Phonetically ends in t. So...how about that one? (Perhaps this can add a little more hillarity to this bizare forum...)

jeleveux Oct-17-2009

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No more relevant than "chat" which isn't relevant because it is not preceded by a consonant sound, like, say, "x."

bjhagerman Oct-17-2009

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The problem is, the word "text" is a noun. Lately it has become a verb, therefore it is difficult to give a noun a past tense.

whit Jan-22-2010

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Hi There

I must admit that I didn't get to the end of this thread but possibly another spanner in the works is that the past tense gets modified by the subject... e.g. "did you text me last night" or (to use the noun) "did you send me a text last night" could both be answered in the affirmative with either of the following 1. "yes i texted you last night" 2. "yes i sent you a text last night" (noun version); however, note also that text in "did you text" is a past tense verb ... whereas did you texted is clearly wrong. My point is that to transform a verb to past tense is not simply a matter of adding "-ed" on the end.

I think an answer on google answers finalises this:

According to the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary
(available through some libraries), there has been a verb "text" since
the 1500s, with a past tense of "texted" or "tex'd." The current
meaning of "to send a text message" was accepted by the OED in its
draft additions of June 2004, and includes the example of "texted."

That's the OED's stance on the subject! This is nothing new however - language is always in a state of flux and when quoting "rules" is simply a statement of the current "rule" at that time - it changes and it has changed - get over it. Place names have been shortened; not due to laziness but due to soft mutations and popular consensus - to quote a current "rule", moreso, to ridicule others *incorrectly* for using texted as a past tense rule is pompus, snobish and arrogant. The only reason people would do this would be to make themselves appear clever and they usually do so by a misguided belief in their own knowledge and opinion rather than actually looking up the "rule" in the first place

Just my two pence worth lol

:)

m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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Phil, that's a hilarious link. I can sympathize. I'm working on a project right now studying a dialect of Ojibwe, a language spoken by the indigenous people of the upper US midwest and southern Ontario, Canada. While they don't mutate the sounds at beginnings of words as dramatically as Welsh, it is impossible to use a verb (and sometimes nouns!) without attaching multiple prefixes to it. So until you know all of the tense, aspect, and person markers for the language, looking up words is hopeless. "Ngiizegzid" is filed under Z.

jls.junkmail Jan-28-2010

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Hi again Jason

Two things have just struck me which I just had to share :) (well three if we include why I've stayed on this page so long!)

I think my points are still valid as text can be used in "a past sense sentence" even though the actual word text in a past tense sentence is "sense-less" and that this is part of the reason some people have split into two camps - whilst the use of "Texted" is undoubtedly the correct use as per your very useful explanation backed by the OED definition - i.e. they're talking at cross purposes if discussing the simple form of the question should a word be text or texted in a past tense sentence - it can but it's not actually what they mean - i.e. a) it's "sense-less" in some cases but b) Texted is undoubtedly "correct"

And finally I think you asked for an example where "-ed" wasn't used to "past-tense-ize" a verb. Above I noticed this

Build - past tense - Built - not Builded - or am I missing something?

Phil

m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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p.p.p.s.

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 Jan-28-2010

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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 Jan-28-2010

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

Phil1 May-27-2010

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

Jon2 Nov-11-2010

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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 Mar-29-2011

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

strokerspark Apr-01-2011

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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?

lois1 Apr-20-2011

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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-06-2011

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

Erica1 May-30-2011

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Erica,

Yes, my poor attempt at one at least.

Chris B May-30-2011

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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 Jan-22-2012

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I wonder what they would have said in Jesuses day.

radical1 Mar-19-2012

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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.

IMHO

Karyn Apr-10-2012

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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 Jun-21-2012

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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 Jun-22-2012

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P.S.

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

Bart Aug-15-2012

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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…

http://www.facebook.com/pathofthegodsbook

Methatica Aug-26-2012

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Hey all,

Just revised the poll on FB…

http://www.facebook.com/pathofthegodsbook

Methatica Aug-27-2012

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txt -- txd

Text -- Texd

Job done

Monocle Sep-05-2012

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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 Sep-06-2012

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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 Sep-06-2012

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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 Sep-07-2012

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'Brings in', blast it.

Skeeter Lewis Jan-02-2013

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@Really??

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 Jun-20-2013

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*Remove the 'are'.

Jasper Jun-20-2013

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

jayles Sep-30-2013

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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 Oct-01-2013

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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 Feb-10-2014

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

Cute Guitarist Apr-08-2014

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

SsparklingSsnowflake Apr-08-2014

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http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/35030/where-did-snuck-come-from

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

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

Grammarian Feb-22-2015

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It's mind boggling!!!! I feel like a criminal when I use the word texted. I have to think long and hard before I push the send button, for fear that the grammar police will be busting down my door. Prior to having a cell phone I did not use the word text. But, I am finding myself accepting things that I don't completely understand. I am just happy to know that this is actually a topic worthy of discussion. I thought I was all alone in lack of understanding in the "texting grammer" world.

Rhonda Mar-03-2016

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It should be tested, its past tense, when you are referring to. She tested me last night. Just my opinion

Terri Lee doll Jun-04-2016

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Basil Hallward paints a picture of his pure and beautiful friend Dorian Gray. It is the best portrait Basil has ever drawn. While posing for it, Dorian met Lord Henry, another friend of Basil‘s, who has a bad influence on him. Basil said that he want to finish the picture today.Henry and Dorian went in the garden. Basil painted alone in the hause. Two houers later Basil cried:,, The Picture is ready. Dorian and Henry come in the room. They said that the picture was beautiful. Dorian said:,, I wish I could ever always be young, and the portrait could grow old. Basil gives Dorian his image. A few months later tells Dorian Lord Henry that he has fallen in love with an actress. Dorian went every night in the theater to see his Sibyl Vane. After the show he goes backstage and talks with Sibyl Vane. She calls him Prince Charming. Sibyl tells her mother and her brother James Vane that she is in love with Dorian Gray. Her mother find this not so beautiful, because she wants a son in law with a lot of money. Her brother James says that he kills Dorian when he hurt his sister. James is sailing with a ship for a few weeks to Australia. Dorian says that he wants to marry Sibyl. Lord Henry goes to see with Dorian to the theater to Sibyl again. That evening Sibyl plays very poorly. Lord Henry is outraged about that and he goes home. Dorian goes back behind the stage and he finds Sibyl wines. They talk to each other and she promises him that she makes even better on the next night. Dorian comes home late. He goes to the library where he has his portrait. He sees the image that not looks young it looks a little bite older. He is very shocked by that and he hides the image so that nobody can see it. A few days later comes his friend Basil. He wants the image to see but Dorian shows it is not him . Basil told Dorian the Sibyl is dead . Dorian is shocked . Dorian goes with Basil in the Bublothek and shows him the picture . Basil looks scared . Then Dorian takes a knife and kills Basil. The next day meets Dorian Alan Campbell. Dorian told him all over the dead body. He wants the dead body disappears with a strong acid. Alan Campbell is a chemist. Dorian shows him the dead body. Alan makes him disappear with an acid. At midnight comes Dorian on the harbor walk. Suddenly someone accesses he on the shoulder and keeps a weapon at the head. It is James the brother of Sibyl. Dorian talks to him and finally leaves James Dorian run. A few weeks later, Dorian meets Lord Henry with. They talk about the last six weeks. At night Dorian goes to the library. He looks at the picture. On picture is not a young one but a very old one. The man on the picture has bloody fingers and the feet’s. Dorian cries out against the terrible picture. Dorian takes a knife and stabs the picture. The caretaker has heard the scream and he ran into the library. He finds a young picture of Dorian Gray and an old man that lies on the floor.

Steffi Jun-12-2016

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I really don't like the sound of 'texted', sounds so unwieldy.
I appreciate the correct usage if a noun is turned into a verb, yet........

DrCrusher Sep-11-2016

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I think I can see what has happened by reading all the comments. Text has become a verb because it has replaced the longer word it once described, message. You messaged a message, and now you texted a text (message). So, instead of saying text messaged you, we have shortened it to texted and created a verb from an adjective, along with a past tense. However, text has always been a noun on its own. It may be similar to the word phone. You can phone someone, or talk to someone on the phone. Then, you have phoned them.

melissa1 Oct-06-2016

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I have some friends

vivianisabella Nov-25-2016

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So would you use text or texts for multiple text messages. For some reason it bothers me to hear/read "texts". What's appropriate?

Althea Tanton Mar-19-2017

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decided, raided, braided, caged, flogged, graded, hiked, jailed, kicked, loaned, mailed, nailed, prattled, rested, tested, voted, waded...AND TEXTED!!!

kay joseph Aug-09-2017

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Using texted shows that you know how to properly use the english language and not sound like an illerate (verbal) moron

user106951 Jun-13-2018

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Excuse the spelling mistake. Should have been illiterate. Fat fingers!!!!

user106951 Jun-13-2018

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Text

Monocle Jun-14-2018

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Texed.

Monocle Jun-14-2018

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I have many different arguments about this there is only text-noun,texting-verb,and text-past tense. Also, after reading some of the comments there needs to be a "thumb down" option. For me its not even about their opinion , we all are entitled to one, it is wrong facts that they use to support them.

jbeau302 Jul-10-2018

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My feeling is this - people seem to be put off by "texted" because it sounds like the "d" sound is redundant due to what 'Rdajer' referred to as an, "awkward two syllable jump," which is uncomfortable in the mouth to some people when saying it. To them, it 'feels' wrong. To me, "texted" is correct because "text," as a noun is in and of itself a complete word; a complete thought. Add "ed" to the end of "text" to get the past tense, just as in "tested." Otherwise, its like saying that the thing isn't "text" at all, but rather a "tex," (as in, "I sent her a "tex" this afternoon"), in which case we would use "texed" as the past tense.

Joleenray Sep-25-2018

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After reading many (although not all) of these comments, I have observed that those who prefer "text" as a past tense verb tend to have more grammatical errors of other kinds in their posts than those who prefer "texted," giving them less credibility as qualified judges of what should be considered grammatically correct. I vote for texted.

user107825 Apr-06-2019

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When someone says "I text you", meaning it was something they did in the past, it makes me think that they are trying so hard not to sound illiterate that they sound, well, illiterate.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the proper form of the past tense of "text" is "texted", and that's what I use. My BFF refuses to say "texted", but I think she sounds ignorant when she says, "I text you last night."

Honestly, I think we are just so hung up on what everybody else thinks about us that we've lost touch with common sense!

user108097 Jul-21-2019

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Text... not texted... "She text me yesterday."

Cgwoss Apr-09-2020

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