10 Phrases Said By Every English Teacher

English class is a major part of every year of high school, and some things are unavoidable, as your class entails constant reading and writing.

These phrases said by every English teacher are some of those inevitable things.

"Did you do the reading?"

If your English classes are anything like ours, your homework consists of reading, reading and more reading. Whether your nightly assignment consists of a few pages or multiple chapters, it seems there's always some kind of reading to scan—and you don't always have the time and energy to do so. Teachers know this, so you'll be hearing this phrase a lot.

Harry Potter: Professor McGonagall with a wand

(Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince via Warner Bros. Entertainment)


"Times New Roman, size 12 and double-spaced."

Writing is another obvious staple of English class, and you'll be doing lots of it. Every teacher has the same guidelines for how they want your essays and other assignments to be laid out—and they'll remind the class again and again because someone always manages to mess it up.


"Where's your book?"

Did you leave your textbook or the current reading at home again? That's a huge no-no in English class. If you get caught without your book, that probably means you can't participate in the day's activities, which almost always spells a point deduction.


"Use complete sentences."

While we happen to think sentence fragments can be super effective for spicing up your casual writing, they apparently have no place in English class—and your teacher will let you know it. If your teacher spots a sentence fragment on one of your papers,  be prepared to see those red pen marks.


"You're not doing 'good,' you're doing 'well.'"

English teachers are sticklers for proper grammar, and using adjectives in the place of adverbs (and vice versa) usually sends them up the wall. They'll be quick to correct you—but at least that's their job. If you ask us, being corrected by an English teacher is far less annoying than being corrected in the real world.

The Magic School Bus: Ms. Frizzle and Lizzy winking

(The Magic School Bus via PBS Kids)


"What the author meant was…"

English teachers will often reveal the deeply profound "true" meanings behind the texts you just read, even when there doesn't appear to be any evidence of the author saying those things. If you want the grade, you'll probably just have to roll with it.


"No double negatives!"

Yes, "Ain't nobody got time for that," technically means that someone does have time for that, but that doesn't make it any less fun to say. English teachers won't stand for double negatives in your papers and presentations, so save them for after class.


"Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put."

According to old school grammar rules, you're never supposed to end a sentence with a preposition such as "with," "at," "from" or "into." However, modern English doesn't accommodate this rule very well, and forcing sentences to sound proper without ending in prepositions can make for some extremely awkward sentence structure. Some teachers are loosening up on this rule, but we've heard the above phrase too many times to count.

Girl Meets World: Riley in class with a new teacher

(Girl Meets World via Disney Channel)


"Mind the apostrophes."

Please, pay attention to this one, because it's actually a major pet peeve of ours. For some reason, a lot of people have picked up the bad habit of putting an apostrophe before an "S" when they're pluralizing something. More than one cat is "cats," not "cat's." Your English teacher will point out this mistake often, and they should because it burns our eyes to look at it.


"I before E, except after C…"

"…Or when sounding like A, as in neighbor or weigh." This spelling "rule" goes way back, but it's actually wrong a lot of the time. What about E before I words including "feisty" or "weird," or words where IE follows C, like "science" and "species"? There are so many exceptions that, unfortunately, this probably won't prevent you make making a lot of spelling errors, no matter how many times your English teacher utters it. You'll just have to learn how every individual word is spelled like everyone else.


If you're also a theater kid, click HERE for the top phrases uttered by every drama teacher.