"Text" or "texted" for past tense?

(47 Posts)
peacefuleasyfeeling Tue 06-Oct-15 00:33:56

I have seen and heard the word "text" , as in "to send a text message / SMS" used as past tense quite a few times recently:
"So yesterday, he text me to say..."
"She text me last week and I..."
I have always assumed that it should be "texted", but the frequency with which this is popping up suggests "text" as both past and present tense is common parlance.
Am I just an out of touch fuddy-duddy?

OP’s posts: |
ThereIsIron Tue 06-Oct-15 00:35:51

Past tense of text is "taxt" grin

GriefLeavesItsMark Tue 06-Oct-15 00:44:46

I'm still coming to terms with text bring used as a verb.

GrizzlebertGrumbledink Tue 06-Oct-15 00:59:14

Sent a text, it's a noun not a verb.

But I do say text even though I know it's wrong

YokoUhOh Tue 06-Oct-15 01:02:49

Past tense = texted. 'I text her' sounds present tense to me. Or you could just say 'sent a text', which is probably more correct.

RedButtonhole Tue 06-Oct-15 01:06:28

Never mind that, what about when people say "text-ses" instead of "texts" as the plural?


AlfAlf Tue 06-Oct-15 01:07:58

I agree with Yoko. It should be texted, or even better 'sent a text'.
I'm not very pedantic, but it's one that irritates me. I should get a life.


DadDadDad Tue 06-Oct-15 11:27:45

Grizzle and others - what makes you think it's wrong to use text as verb? It might have started as a noun, but English has a long history of nouns being verbed. The verb to text is useful, its meaning clear (in the context of modern tech), and less of a mouthful than "send a text".

My feeling is that the past tense should be "texted", but when people are talking or typing quickly, "text" sounds like "flexed" or "vexed" - that ending "ext" sound fooling the brain that it is past tense. Also, "texted" is a bit awkward to say.

tribpot Tue 06-Oct-15 11:40:31

Texted. I accept that 'text' does sound a bit past-tensey and (according to Wiktionary at least) it does come from the perfect passive participle of texo (to weave) but it isn't. Hence texted. 'I text her' sounds like you don't know what a past tense is.

peacefuleasyfeeling Tue 06-Oct-15 19:16:22

Ah, thanks for your responses, everyone. I'll carry on as I was then grin

OP’s posts: |
JasperDamerel Tue 06-Oct-15 19:22:57

Texted is correct, but text is creeping in and if it continues to do so will probably take over as the standard form.

DadDadDad Tue 06-Oct-15 19:50:21

Well there are other verbs where the present and past are the same (I can only think of 'put' and 'set' off the top of my head but I'm sure there are others), and we seem to cope.

CuttedUpPear Tue 06-Oct-15 19:51:24


I hate text used as past tense. Makes me stabby.

DadDadDad Wed 07-Oct-15 11:41:12

Ha! Your username just reminded me of another verb where present and past tense are the same: 'cut'

Are there any examples, I wonder where the last letter is not a 't'? (Completely amateur linguist suggestion that maybe that 't' sound at the end of the verb is close enough to the 'd' sound that the brain accepts it as a past tense).

prism Wed 07-Oct-15 16:17:45

"read" and "spread". I think all the others end in T.

DadDadDad Wed 07-Oct-15 18:07:05

Yes, after making my comment, the top Google search threw up this list, which agreed with my (undoubtedly unoriginal) theory, so I was quite pleased with that!


NameChange30 Wed 07-Oct-15 18:09:18

This bothers me too. "Text" sounds wrong but "texted" sounds clunky. I try and avoid it and say "sent a text" if I can!

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Thu 08-Oct-15 14:13:49

It's s general view that neologisms should be regular, both grammatically and phonologically. So: text= texted. It's more likely for irregular verbs to become regular through time, rather than the opposite.

MotherOfFlagons Thu 08-Oct-15 14:14:59

'I text her' makes me cross. I prefer 'I texted her'.

DadDadDad Thu 08-Oct-15 14:36:54

ThenLater - I don't know where should comes into it. It's probably the case that neologisms do inflect regularly, because no-one will have heard any irregular inflection, but that's an empirical observation not a decree from some imagined grammar police.

Mother - this is where I part company. I think "texted" is more consistent, but I don't get cross about it - why? I find it fascinating that the rule ThenLater identifies is interfered with (in the speaker's mind) by another rule (discussed earlier) that many verbs ending in t do not inflect.

KoalaDownUnder Thu 08-Oct-15 14:43:07


I can't stand 'text' used as a past tense verb. Drives me nuts.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Thu 08-Oct-15 15:20:14

Of course it's an empirical observation. By socio-historic linguists. That's why I said "should" as opposed to "have to". wink

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Thu 08-Oct-15 15:25:56

I don't normally link to wiki (as any Tom, Dick or Harriet could have written it!) but this is quite a succinct historical linguistic explanation of why some verbs do, and some don't (do whatever it is we expect them to do...)


Hullygully Thu 08-Oct-15 15:28:49

texted texted texted texted texted texted TEXTED TEXFUCKINGTED

DadDadDad Thu 08-Oct-15 15:35:09

ThenLater - thanks for the explanation.

(I'm still not sure the way you used "should" can be read as implying a generalisation of empirical observation, along the lines of "can usually be expected to". It reads more as "it is right to", as if the "general view" has been handed down by those who consider themselves an authority. So thanks for clarifying what you thought you meant smile).

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