„Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- teach.“

Last update Feb. 22, 2021. History
H.L. Mencken photo
H.L. Mencken278
American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956

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Woody Allen photo

„Those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach, teach gym.“

—  Woody Allen American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright, and musician 1935

Source: Annie Hall: Screenplay

James K. Morrow photo

„Those who can kill themselves do, and those who can’t, teach philosophy.“

—  James K. Morrow (1947-) science fiction author 1947

Source: The Philosopher's Apprentice (2008), Chapter 13 (p. 295)

Aristotle photo

„Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.“

—  Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -321 BC

This and many similar quotes with the same general meaning are misattributed to Aristotle as a result of Twitter attribution decay. The original source of the quote remains anonymous. The oldest reference resides in the works of George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903): "Maxims for Revolutionists", where he claims that “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”. However, the related quote, "Those who can, do. Those who understand, teach" likely originates from Lee Shulman in his explanation of Aristotlean views on professional mastery: Source: Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4 - 14. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1175860
Misattributed
Variant: Those who can, do, those who cannot, teach.

Robert Moses photo

„Those who can, build. Those who can't, criticize.“

—  Robert Moses American urban planner 1888 - 1981

Quoted in his obituary in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/1218.html

Marcus Tullius Cicero photo
Linus Torvalds photo

„Those that can, do. Those that can't, complain.“

—  Linus Torvalds Finnish-American software engineer and hacker 1969

Post the Linux Kernel Mailing List, 2003-09-23, Torvalds, Linus, 2007-06-26, http://web.archive.org/20050226095919/kerneltrap.org/node/901, 2005-02-26 http://kerneltrap.org/node/901,
Torvalds did not originate this quote http://shlomif.livejournal.com/39215.html, and there are earlier records for it. This is a variation on "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches," which is also attributed to George Bernard Shaw.
2000s, 2000-04

James Baldwin photo
Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis photo

„There are two kinds of men who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.“

—  Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis American publisher 1850 - 1933

Quoted in "The Best Liberal Quotes Ever: Why the Left is Right" - Page 39 - by William P. Martin - Reference - 2004

Mark Twain photo

„Those who don't read good books have no advantage over those who can't.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Variant: The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

Lin Yutang photo
Felix Adler photo

„There is a difficulty in the way of teaching the higher life, due to the fact that only those who have begun to lead it can understand the meaning of it.“

—  Felix Adler German American professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, and lecturer 1851 - 1933

Section 6 : Higher Life
Founding Address (1876), Life and Destiny (1913)
Context: There is a difficulty in the way of teaching the higher life, due to the fact that only those who have begun to lead it can understand the meaning of it. Nevertheless, all men can be induced to begin to lead it. Though they seem blind, their eyes can be opened so as to see. Deep down in every human heart is the seed of a diviner life, which only needs the quickening influence of right conditions to germinate.

Leonardo Da Vinci photo

„It is those who can see the invisible that can do the impossible.“

—  Steve Maraboli 1975

Source: Life, the Truth, and Being Free (2010), p. 93

Charles Bukowski photo

„Those who preach god, need god
Those who preach peace do not have peace
Those who preach love do not have love“

—  Charles Bukowski American writer 1920 - 1994

Source: The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966

Muhammad photo

„The best of those amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and then teaches it to others.“

—  Muhammad Arabian religious leader and the founder of Islam 570 - 632

Al-Amali of Shaykh at-Tusi, Volume 1, Page 5
Shi'ite Hadith

Thomas Jefferson photo

„Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

According to the Jefferson Library, this is misattributed to Jefferson http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/Those_who_hammer_their_guns_into_plows.
Misattributed

Booker T. Washington photo

„Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.“

—  Booker T. Washington, book Up from Slavery

Variant: The happiest people are those who do the most for others. The most miserable are those who do the least.
Source: Up from Slavery

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