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  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default incorrigible vs. unteachable

    I wonder whether the word "unteachable" is used is the same meaning as incorrigible in English.
    For example, if I tell a child not to touch e.g. an iron and he always touches it (although he's burnt his fingers several times) and never learns from this, shall I call him incorrigible or unteacheble? Is there a difference between the adectives?

  2. #2
    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: incorrigible vs. unteachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    I wonder whether the word "unteachable" is used is the same meaning as incorrigible in English.
    For example, if I tell a child not to touch e.g. an iron and he always touches it (although he's burnt his fingers several times) and never learns from this, shall I call him incorrigible or unteacheble? Is there a difference between the adectives?
    Why don't you call him disobedient? (Incorrigible liar.)

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: incorrigible vs. unteachable

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    I wonder whether the word "unteachable" is used is the same meaning as incorrigible in English.
    For example, if I tell a child not to touch e.g. an iron and he always touches it (although he's burnt his fingers several times) and never learns from this, shall I call him incorrigible or unteacheble? Is there a difference between the adectives?

    I would regard him as both incorrigible (unable to take correction) and unteachable (unable to learn).

  4. #4
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: incorrigible vs. unteachable

    Thank you for your answers
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    Why don't you call him disobedient? (Incorrigible liar.)
    Actually, I don't know such a boy. I've thought it out because I wanted to know whether I myself am (in some cases) incorrigible or unteachable. I don't think I am disobedient, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    I would regard him as both incorrigible (unable to take correction) and unteachable (unable to learn).
    Hmm... I don't see too much difference between the two words. Can they both be used almost interchangebly, in every case?

  5. #5
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: incorrigible vs. unteachable

    Unteachable should only apply to someone who is so profoundly mentally handicapped that he can only be trained to perform simple tasks. My own experiences as a teacher in a prison, however, seem to belie that assumption.

    Incorrigible means that the person can't be changed or influenced. This is not necessarily a negative trait although it is usually used that way. A person can be either an incorrigible liar or an incorrigible optimist.

    When a teacher says that a student is incorrigible he means that the student's behavior is unacceptable and can't be controlled.
    When a teacher says that a student is unteachable he means that the student is unwilling to put any effort into his own education.

  6. #6
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: incorrigible vs. unteachable

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    Unteachable should only apply to someone who is so profoundly mentally handicapped that he can only be trained to perform simple tasks. My own experiences as a teacher in a prison, however, seem to belie that assumption.

    Incorrigible means that the person can't be changed or influenced. This is not necessarily a negative trait although it is usually used that way. A person can be either an incorrigible liar or an incorrigible optimist.

    When a teacher says that a student is incorrigible he means that the student's behavior is unacceptable and can't be controlled.
    When a teacher says that a student is unteachable he means that the student is unwilling to put any effort into his own education.
    Thank you for the great explanation. I didn't know the adjective "incorrigible" can also be used in a "positive" meaning (incorrigible optimist)!
    OK, according to your explanation, "incorrigible" is probably the word I was looking for...

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