teach

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tell (someone) a thing or two (about someone or something)

1. To inform someone of the facts or several pieces of information (about someone or something). I know you're from the countryside and not used to city folk, so let me tell you a thing or two about New Yorkers. If you want to learn about the history of cinema, then you should ask Jeff—he'd be more than happy to tell you a thing or two.
2. To correct or confront someone about his, her, or their mistaken belief or incorrect point of view (about someone or something). The professor is teaching us some really antiquated material about quantum physics. I think I'll go tell him a thing or two about it after class. That jerk has been making snide remarks about the women in our group all night. I'm going to go over there and tell him a thing or two!
See also: someone, tell, thing, two

those who can't do, teach

Those who are unable to successfully find a career in their field of interest end up teaching about it instead. (A shortening of "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.") A: "I know he always aspired to be a great novelist, but the last I heard, he's still teaching middle school English." B: "Well, those who can't do, teach."
See also: teach, those, who

don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs

An older person is wiser and more experienced and worldly than a young person may think—thus, the older person does not need to be taught. I may be 70, but I've been using a computer since before you were born! Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs, sonny!
See also: egg, grandmother, suck, teach

teach a man to fish

Teaching someone how to do something is more helpful to him or her in the long run than just doing it for him or her. The full proverb is "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." A: "I don't want to teach Billy how to drive!" B: "Well, I know you're sick of driving him around, and this is a solution. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime!" I'm trying to show my grandfather how to use his new computer, so that he won't call me with questions every time he tries to use it—teach a man to fish and all that.
See also: fish, man, teach

teach (one's) grandmother to suck eggs

To try to teach an older person who is wiser and more experienced and worldly than a young person may think. Why are you explaining basic typing to Ethel? Yes, she's 70, but she's been using a computer since before you were born—quit teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.
See also: egg, grandmother, suck, teach

Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

Those who are especially skilled in a certain field or area will be able to pursue a career, while those who are less skilled will end up teaching about it instead. A: "I know he always aspired to be a great novelist, but the last I heard he's still teaching middle school English." B: "Well, those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
See also: those, who

teach school

To teach; to be a teacher in a school. Did you know that Karen teaches school? I thought she was stockbroker. Don't feel so bad. I've taught school for 30 years, and I still run into situations I don't know how to handle.
See also: school, teach

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

You cannot teach some new skill or behavior to someone who is set in their ways. Good luck getting Grandpa to start going to yoga with you. You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

teach (one) a lesson

To convince one to avoid some unwanted behavior in the future through the inflicting of some form of punishment or harm. Can be said of the harm or punishment itself, or the agent inflicting the harm or punishment. After the CEO was found guilty, he was forced to repay $150 million in damages and will spend the next 10 years in jail. If that doesn't teach him a lesson, I don't know what will. A: "The cat scratched Bobby this time when he pulled its tail again." B: "Well, that ought to teach him a lesson." Are you going to mess with my little brother again, or am I going to have to teach you a lesson?
See also: lesson, teach

tricks of the trade

Certain clever or ingenious skills, techniques, or methods used by professionals to do something more easily or efficiently. My uncle used to be a tailor, so he taught me all the tricks of the trade to alter a shirt. My accountant friend is showing me the tricks of the trade to pay as few taxes as possible on my income.
See also: of, trade, trick

could tell (someone) a thing or two (about someone or something)

1. To be able to inform someone of the facts or several pieces of information (about someone or something). I know you're from the countryside and not used to city folk, but I could tell you a thing or two about New Yorkers. If you want to learn about the history of cinema, then you should ask Jeff—he could tell you a thing or two.
2. To be able to correct or confront someone about his, her, or their mistaken belief or incorrect point of view (about someone or something). That jerk has been making snide remarks all night. I could go over there and tell him a thing or two about how to talk to women!
See also: could, someone, tell, thing, two

could teach (someone) a thing or two (about someone or something)

1. To be able to inform someone of the facts or several pieces of information (about someone or something). I know you're from the countryside and not used to city folk, but I could teach you a thing or two about New Yorkers. If you want to learn about the history of cinema, then you should ask Jeff—he could teach you a thing or two.
2. To be able to correct or confront someone about his, her, or their mistaken belief or incorrect point of view (about someone or something). That jerk has been making snide remarks all night. I could go over there and teach him a thing or two about how to talk to women!
See also: could, someone, teach, thing, two

teach one's grandmother to suck eggs

Fig. to try to tell or show someone more knowledgeable or experienced than oneself how to do something. Don't suggest showing Mary how to knit. It will be like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs. Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs. Bob has been playing tennis for years.
See also: egg, grandmother, suck, teach

teach someone a lesson

to get even with someone for bad behavior. John tripped me, so I punched him. That ought to teach him a lesson. That taught me a lesson. I won't do it again.
See also: lesson, teach

that'll teach someone

Inf. What happened to someone is a suitable punishment! (The someone is usually a pronoun.) Bill: Tom, who has cheated on his taxes for years, finally got caught. Sue: That'll teach him. Bill: Gee, I got a ticket for speeding. Fred: That'll teach you!
See also: teach

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

Prov. People who are able to do something well can do that thing for a living, while people who are not able to do anything that well make a living by teaching. (Used to disparage teachers. From George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman.) Bob: I'm so discouraged. My writing teacher told me my novel is hopeless. Jane: Don't listen to her, Bob. Remember: those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
See also: teach, those, who

*tricks of the trade

special skills and knowledge associated with any trade or profession. (*Typically: know ~; learn ~; show someone ~; teach someone ~.) I know a few tricks of the trade that make things easier. I learned the tricks of the trade from my uncle.
See also: of, trade, trick

You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

Prov. Someone who is used to doing things a certain way cannot change. (Usually not polite to say about the person you are talking to; you can say it about yourself or about a third person.) I've been away from school for fifteen years; I can't go back to college now. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Kevin's doctor told him not to eat starchy food anymore, but Kevin still has potatoes with every meal. I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
See also: cannot, dog, new, old, teach, trick

teach a lesson

Punish in order to prevent a recurrence of bad behavior. For example, Timmy set the wastebasket on fire; that should teach him a lesson about playing with matches . This term uses lesson in the sense of "a punishment or rebuke," a usage dating from the late 1500s. Also see learn one's lesson.
See also: lesson, teach

teach an old dog new tricks

Change longstanding habits or ways, especially in an old person. For example, His grandmother avoids using the microwave oven-you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This expression, alluding to the difficulty of changing one's ways, was first recorded in 1523 in a book of husbandry, where it was used literally. By 1546 a version of it appeared in John Heywood's proverb collection.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

tricks of the trade

Clever ways of operating a business or performing a task or activity, especially slightly dishonest or unfair ones. For example, Alma knows all the tricks of the trade, cutting the fabric as close as possible, or The butcher weighs meat after it's wrapped; charging for the packaging is one of the tricks of the trade .
See also: of, trade, trick

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

If you say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, you mean that it is often difficult to get people to try new ways of doing things, especially if they have been doing something in a particular way for a long time. The low levels of participation among older people are affected by the widespread belief that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Note: This expression is often varied. For example, if you say you can teach an old dog new tricks or an old dog can learn new tricks, you mean that it is possible to get people to try new ways of doing something. Our work shows that you can teach an old dog new tricks. An old dog can learn new tricks if he has both the will and the opportunity.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

teach your grandmother to suck eggs

BRITISH
If you teach your grandmother to suck eggs, you give advice about a subject to someone who knows more about it than you do. Look, I don't want to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, but haven't you done this the wrong way round? Note: You can also say that you teach your granny to suck eggs. At the risk of teaching my granny to suck eggs, wouldn't it be better to use this pan?
See also: egg, grandmother, suck, teach

could tell someone a thing or two

or

could teach someone a thing or two

If you could tell someone a thing or two about something or could teach someone a thing or two about it, you know much more about it than they do. Perhaps they'd like to meet my sons, now aged 14 and 17. They could tell them a thing or two about drama. They could teach us a thing or two about family values. Note: A thing or two is often used after other verbs to mean a lot of things. Patricia Hewitt knows a thing or two about how to be well-organised. The peace movement has learnt a thing or two from Vietnam.
See also: could, someone, tell, thing, two

you can't teach an old dog new tricks

you cannot make people change their ways. proverb
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

teach your grandmother to suck eggs

presume to advise a more experienced person.
The proverb you can't teach your grandmother to suck eggs has been used since the early 18th century as a caution against any attempt by the ignorant or inexperienced to instruct someone wiser or more knowledgeable.
See also: egg, grandmother, suck, teach

tricks of the trade

special ingenious techniques used in a profession or craft, especially those that are little known by outsiders.
See also: of, trade, trick

teach your grandmother to suck ˈeggs

(British English, informal) tell or show somebody how to do something that they can already do well, and probably better than you can: I don’t know why he’s telling Rob how to use the computer. It seems to me like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.
See also: egg, grandmother, suck, teach

teach somebody a ˈlesson

(also ˈteach somebody (to do something)) learn from a punishment or because of an unpleasant experience, that you have done something wrong or made a mistake: He needs to be taught a lesson (= he should be punished).Losing all his money in a card game has taught him a lesson he’ll never forget.That’ll teach you! Perhaps you’ll be more careful in future!
See also: lesson, somebody, teach

(you can’t) teach an old dog new ˈtricks

(saying) (you can’t) make old people change their ideas or ways of working, etc: My grandmother doesn’t want a computer. She says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick

can/could teach/tell somebody a ˈthing or two (about somebody/something)

(informal) be able to help somebody, or teach somebody how to do something, because you have more experience: He thinks he knows a lot about farming, but old Bert could teach him a thing or two.
See also: can, could, somebody, teach, tell, thing, two

That’ll teach someone

sent. That is what someone deserves. That’ll teach you to pull out in front of me.
See also: someone, teach

tricks of the trade

n. special skills and knowledge associated with any trade or profession. I know a few tricks of the trade that make things easier.
See also: of, trade, trick

You can't teach an old dog new tricks

Getting people to change their habits or acquire new skills is impossible. Puppies are teachable, but older dogs are less apt to be able to be trained, or so popular wisdom had it. By the same token, an octogenarian who has read the morning newspaper for decades is unlikely to be willing, much less eager, to switch to the online edition.
See also: dog, new, old, teach, trick
References in periodicals archive ?
Our musical practice teaches us to breathe within a musical score.
Butler once said: "the Roman Church teaches that schism is a grave sin and that a schismatic is one who refuses to be subject to the Holy See" (The Idea of the Church, p.
The council goes on to repeat Vatican I on the distinct way that the infallibility of the whole church belongs to the pope when he teaches ex cathedra.
Julie Grady teaches chemistry at Blacksburg High School in Blacksburg, Va.
And the Catechism teaches that Satan is a real person, a fallen angel (#391-92).
But the Valencia resident, who teaches fashion design at Los Angeles Trade Tech College, recently was recognized for her ability to prepare these students - many of them working parents - for a wide array of jobs in the garment industry.
Jorgensen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Secondary Education/Foundations of Education, teaches courses in pedagogy and content area literacy and supervises student teachers.
Somple now teaches British literature, mostly at the senior level though she has been taking some sophomores and juniors of late.
Capp teaches at Florence Crittenton High School in Fullerton, California.
Gomez, a bilingual aide at Newhall Elementary, teaches the classes with the help of her two daughters, Diana, 23, an instructional assistant at Old Orchard Elementary, and Wendy, 20, an aspiring English teacher.
We know that effective professional development teaches mathematics, models sound teaching techniques, and requires teachers to analyze teaching and learning (NCTM, 1991).
Elliott, who teaches education at a private Christian university in California, evaluates methods of reintegrating character education and a values-oriented curriculum into public education, though such ideas are now more closely associated with religious education.
This group teaches mainly for additional income in their retirement years.
It teaches and confirms the tendency to cast opposing sides as proverbial apples and oranges, so dissimilar that we can't even discuss them together.
Passman is an assistant professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, where he teaches secondary education methods and literacy courses.
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