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Thread: Grammar: shown vs. showed?

  1. #1

    Question Grammar: shown vs. showed?

    Ok. I've read too many Puritans. When should "shown" be used instead of "showed"? For example, is this sentence correct:
    It must then be in force as perpetual, unless (as we said) a clear and certain repeal of it can be showed in Scripture.
    Or would "shown in Scripture" be proper now?
    Chris Coldwell, Lakewood Presbyterian Church (PCA), Dallas, Texas.
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  2. #2
    "Showed" is past tense, as in "I showed the book to a friend." "Shown", is past perfect tense, as in "I have shown the book to many people." So in light of that, I would use 'shown' in the sentence you provided, but that is just my opinion.
    Ginny Dohms
    Puritan Reformed Church
    RPNA (GM)
    Canada

  3. I think you should use 'shew'.

    No seriously, usually 'showed' is used in the past tense and 'shown' in the past perfect. Technically, 'showed' should always be correct but in practice, common usage rules the day. For example, 'I knowed' ought to be correct because the past tense is made by adding an 'ed'. But common usage has kept ' I knew' (the irregular verb) in business. English is so frustrating in that way. Did you know that 'holp' was once the irregular verb that was replaced by 'helped'? Just like 'knew' and 'knowed'. Sometimes the old irregular gets replaced by common usage and sometimes it doesn't. The rules are always overidden by common usage so in your question, both are correct so go with which ever one sounds the best to you and your peers. In the example you have given, I would choose 'shown'.
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  4. #4
    "Shown" is the past participle and is the form to use with an auxilliary verb (like to be). "Showed" is past simple and has no auxilliary.

    But Bob is correct in the "go with what sounds good" trend. Some of us fogeys bridle at it. ;-)
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by NaphtaliPress View Post
    Ok. I've read too many Puritans. When should "shown" be used instead of "showed"? For example, is this sentence correct:
    It must then be in force as perpetual, unless (as we said) a clear and certain repeal of it can be showed in Scripture.
    Or would "shown in Scripture" be proper now?
    Just use "seen" instead. Unless you would rather use "seeed."
    Doug Mixer
    Pastor, Grace Baptist Church
    Independent
    Maryland

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