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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    How to ask a question. Is it Did, Does, Was, Is, Has......?

    Good evening,
    I am trying to help a young German boy to improve his English. He has a test coming up, and has a real problem with remembering what goes at the beginning of a question. He findsthe meaning of the words "simple past", "present perfect" etc so difficult to keep in his head and often muddles them up.
    He is sure that his questions will be ie. "In simple past ask if Natalie came late" In Present Perfect ask if Kurt hurt Bert". Any ideas as to how I can make it all a little easier for him to keep in his head?
    I would be very grateful.
    Night everyone.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Simple past:
    • Did Natalie come in late?


    Present perfect:
    • Is Kurt hurting Burt?


    :)

  3. #3
    CitySpeak Guest

    Re: How to ask a question. Is it Did, Does, Was, Is, Has....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee
    Good evening,
    I am trying to help a young German boy to improve his English. He has a test coming up, and has a real problem with remembering what goes at the beginning of a question. He findsthe meaning of the words "simple past", "present perfect" etc so difficult to keep in his head and often muddles them up.
    He is sure that his questions will be ie. "In simple past ask if Natalie came late" In Present Perfect ask if Kurt hurt Bert". Any ideas as to how I can make it all a little easier for him to keep in his head?
    I would be very grateful.
    Night everyone.

    The simple past can be easily recognized because it represents a complete action in the past. The action is finished.

    I ate dinner at 5. - simple past - There is no way to change this. It is a complete action.

    I have not eaten pizza in 6 weeks. - present perfect - This is not a complete action. It is true from six weeks ago up until now. This still means something.

    With the simple past, what's done is done. With the present perfect, the action is not complete. The action began at some point in the past and is still true now. The action or state continues. It is not done and over with.


    I would recommend showing examples in context.

    They got married 6 years ago. - This action is complete. It cannot be changed.

    They have been married for 6 years. - This is true for a period of 6 years, and as far as we know, it will continue to be true. It could also change. The point is that it is still true now.

    He started his business in 1995. - This is action is complete. This cannot be changed.

    He has been in business for 8 years. - He is still in business. This is true and continues to be true. It is possible for this to change. It's possible that he will not be in business at some point in the future. It is possible that he will be in business.



    One thing he can remember about the simple past is the concept or idea of completeness. If something is done and "no longer continues" it is the simple past.

    If the questions are fill in the blanks and are not in context, it could be rather challenging. Context tells us much of the time which form of the verb to use.

    At this site, take a look at the "Time Expressions Chart". That should be of some help in dealing with this. Also, take a look at the exercises. There are some for present perfect and simple past. One might also see how more than one answer is possible when sentences are taken out of context.

    http://www.longman.com/ae/azar/gramm..._materials.htm

  4. #4
    CitySpeak Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Simple past:
    • Did Natalie come in late?


    Present perfect:
    • Is Kurt hurting Burt?


    :)

    Has Kurt hurt Burt - Present Perfect

    Is Kurt hurting Burt - Present Progressive or Present Continuous


  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitySpeak
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Simple past:
    • Did Natalie come in late?


    Present perfect:
    • Is Kurt hurting Burt?


    :)

    Has Kurt hurt Burt - Present Perfect

    Is Kurt hurting Burt - Present Progressive or Present Continuous

    That is correct. (Use the X for deleting duplicate posts.)

    :)

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Re: How to ask a question. Is it Did, Does, Was, Is, Has....

    Quote Originally Posted by CitySpeak
    The simple past can be easily recognized because it represents a complete action in the past. The action is finished.

    I ate dinner at 5. - simple past - There is no way to change this. It is a complete action.

    I have not eaten pizza in 6 weeks. - present perfect - This is not a complete action. It is true from six weeks ago up until now. This still means something.

    With the simple past, what's done is done. With the present perfect, the action is not complete. The action began at some point in the past and is still true now. The action or state continues. It is not done and over with.
    That's a good explanation.

    :D

  7. #7
    CitySpeak Guest

    Re: How to ask a question. Is it Did, Does, Was, Is, Has....

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by CitySpeak
    The simple past can be easily recognized because it represents a complete action in the past. The action is finished.

    I ate dinner at 5. - simple past - There is no way to change this. It is a complete action.

    I have not eaten pizza in 6 weeks. - present perfect - This is not a complete action. It is true from six weeks ago up until now. This still means something.

    With the simple past, what's done is done. With the present perfect, the action is not complete. The action began at some point in the past and is still true now. The action or state continues. It is not done and over with.
    That's a good explanation.

    :D

    Thanks. However, I just noticed I overlooked the fact that it was supposed to be in the form of a question. In that case it's just a simple question of form and nothing really has to be understood.

    present perfect - How long have you two been together?

    simple past - When did you meet?

    present perfect - have + past participle

    simple past - ed form of the verb or irregular past form

    question simple past - use "did" and base form of the verb




    :)

  8. #8
    CitySpeak Guest

    Re: How to ask a question. Is it Did, Does, Was, Is, Has....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee
    Good evening,
    I am trying to help a young German boy to improve his English. He has a test coming up, and has a real problem with remembering what goes at the beginning of a question. He findsthe meaning of the words "simple past", "present perfect" etc so difficult to keep in his head and often muddles them up.
    He is sure that his questions will be ie. "In simple past ask if Natalie came late" In Present Perfect ask if Kurt hurt Bert". Any ideas as to how I can make it all a little easier for him to keep in his head?
    I would be very grateful.
    Night everyone.

    He is sure that his questions will be ie. "In simple past ask if Natalie came late" In Present Perfect ask if Kurt hurt Bert". Any ideas as to how I can make it all a little easier for him to keep in his head?

    Besides my previous extended answer, I think it's just a simple question of learning and memorizing the form.

    present perfect - How long have you two been together?

    simple past - When did you meet?


    present perfect - have + past participle

    simple past - ed form of the verb or irregular past form


    question simple past - use "did" and base form of the verb

  9. #9
    CitySpeak Guest

    Re: How to ask a question. Is it Did, Does, Was, Is, Has....

    How to ask a question. Is it Did, Does, Was, Is, Has......?


    I would remind him that "was", "were" and "am" are only used with the verb "be".

    Use "did" with a simple past question for all the rest of the verbs. (excluding modal auxiliaries, of course)


    Use "have", "has" and the past participle of a verb to form a present perfect question and a present perfect statement.

    does, is - These are present forms only. They are not used in the simple past or the present perfect.


    As I said before, this comes down to a simple question of learning a grammatical form. My first extended answer dealt with the meaning of past simple and present perfect and how to use them.

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