We commonly abbreviate teacher's assistant as TA.

Suppose I have the following sentence:

I was a teacher's assistant for Chemistry 101.

We can also say:

I was a TA for Chemistry 101.

But, is it right if we said:

I TA'ed Chemistry 101.

Clearly the meaning gets across, but does the sentence above have proper grammar?

  • Nouns get verbed all the time. It's not formally correct, but it's perfectly normal informal speech/writing.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 13 '17 at 1:35
  • 1
    'Proper' grammar is usually what is allowed in newspapers. Outside of that "I TA'd Chem 101" is the way native speakers say it and other ways would be weird.
    – Mitch
    Jun 13 '17 at 2:33
  • @Mitch - Other ways include: I graded for Chemistry 101 last semester. I'll be your grader next semester if you take Chemistry 101. Jun 13 '17 at 3:28
  • @aparente001 - Not all TAs just grade. Some teach recitation or preside over labs. We called those that just graded, “graders” and those that got up in front of students “TAs”
    – Jim
    Jun 13 '17 at 4:06
  • @aparente001 that's irrelevant. The question is about how to use teaching assistant or TA.
    – Mitch
    Jun 13 '17 at 11:06

Yes, it is correct grammar. This usage is especially common in informal English. It is similar to using KO (to knock out), RSVP ("to respond"), cc ("to carbon copy) and other initialisms as verbs. However the apostrophe is used to signify that something has been left out. And in this case you usually leave out the e of the -ed ending.

He KO'd me in the sixth round.

Other examples from Oxford

‘In his first fight as a pro, Foreman KO'd Don Waldheim in the third round an hour before Frazier and Quarry fought.’

‘Those days may have ended when Mike Tyson got KO'd by Buster Douglas.’

‘His final 5 bouts following the McClellan tragedy ended with a record of 2-3 with Benn being KO'd on 2 of those occasions.’

‘Conn had KO'd his last four opponents, including heavyweights Buddy Knox and Gunnar Barlund, both in the 8th rounds.’


Did you RSVP the Smiths yet?

Yes. I RSVP'd them last night.

Examples of using TA:

I TA'd Chemistry 101 for him last semester.

Did you like TAing for him?

I'll TA for her next semester.

[but note that these examples for TA'd are anecdotal, not, as it might appear, from ODO/LEXICO.]

  • You add examples from an authoritative source (ODO) for KO'd. But that fact doesn't endorse using TA'd, which licensing is what the question is asking about. If you can't provide such evidence, your 'Yes, it is correct grammar' is highly suspect. In fact, ODO has as much to say about TA as a verb as it does bsdouhuhqefg as a verb. Jun 6 '19 at 18:19

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