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    #1

    teach something to somebody

    I was taught that the structure in the title isn't really idiomatic in English but native speakers do use it. For example: "Mr. ABC taught conversational English to final-year students in the English Section"

    Is this correct English? I know 'teaching somebody something' is correct but not sure about this structure. Thanks

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: teach something to somebody

    You will hear it.

    When I was a child, my mum taught English to a Saudi Arabian family who had moved in round the corner.
    In Spain, I taught English to people ranging in age from 6 to 72.

    The longer the sentence, the more it works. Your original example structure of "to teach somebody something" would convert to "When I was a child, my mum taught a Saudi Arabian family who had moved in round the corner English". As you can see, that puts "English" much too far away from "taught" and makes the sentence hard to follow.


    Short sentences work with either structure.

    I taught my sister's boyfriend Italian.
    I taught Italian to my sister's boyfriend.

    In that particular example, the first is much more natural.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: teach something to somebody

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    I was taught that the structure in the title isn't really idiomatic in English but native speakers do use it.
    We do tend to use the other form a lot,but that doesn't make this one not idiomatic.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: teach something to somebody

    The structure is idiomatic.

    I teach Emergency Medicine to the senior class.
    She teaches English to ESL students.
    He teaches animal behavior to dog owners.

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