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I need advice on the best use of the verb show.

When do you use showed? I find myself substituting has shown, even when I meant to use the preterit in my sentence.

I prefer "she has shown" over "she has showed"; are there differences in phrasal verbs, such as "show up" or "show out"?

Do you ever use "shew" and its family?

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+1 for teaching me the word shew. –  Matt Эллен Apr 13 '11 at 10:45

3 Answers 3

Google Labs
Books Ngram Viewer - show vs shew

show vs shew

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+1 for something that looks like it could have come from xkcd. –  Neil Apr 13 '11 at 10:31
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@Neil: I have the same feeling about this chart. Maybe we should specialize "to shew" to mean "to show something obsolete", in spite of it slightly rhyming with "new". –  ogerard Apr 13 '11 at 10:52
    
@ogerard: I like it. I'm going to start using it. –  Neil Apr 13 '11 at 12:25
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Uh, where is this from? Where is the data? I can make an educated guess but it would help to have something in the answer itself. –  MrHen Apr 13 '11 at 12:52
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@MrHen - please see update –  mplungjan Apr 13 '11 at 13:36

Do you ever use "shew" and its family ?

No.

When do you use "showed" ?

When you need the simple past tense.

Last week I showed you how to cook apple pie.

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The rules of phrasal verbs apply the same for "show" as any other verb. To use "show up" using past perfect, you'd say "she has shown up" just like if you were saying "she has shown" but with "up" added afterwards.

And you don't use "she has showed". If you mean to imply that the event happened earlier than another event in the same sentence, you'd use "she had shown" rather than "she has showed." An example of this would be "She had shown us her collection of stamps when we asked." You might hear "she has showed" but it's incorrect english.

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