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  1. #1
    Trex is offline Junior Member
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    Default What did you do this evening?

    What ---- this evening?

    A) do you do
    B) are you doing
    C) were you doing
    D) did you do


    I think B is the requested answer. I wonder whether C and D work too?

  2. #2
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What did you do this evening?

    I presume they're considering "evening" to be the last part of the day - leading up to midnight, and ending at the beginning of the next day.

    In that sense, C & D aren't possible as once the "evening" is finished it would, by definition, be the next day: therefore "yesterday evening" would have to be used.

  3. #3
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: What did you do this evening?

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    I presume they're considering "evening" to be the last part of the day - leading up to midnight, and ending at the beginning of the next day.

    In that sense, C & D aren't possible as once the "evening" is finished it would, by definition, be the next day: therefore "yesterday evening" would have to be used.
    I know a lot of English teachers would agree with you, colloquium, but I beg to differ. I think this explanation is misleading.

    Let's say Nicola's dad, Alexandre, comes home late from work around 9 pm and finds Nicola already in bed with the light out and just going off to sleep. As Alexandre wants to see something of his little son, he sits down on the edge of Nicola's bed and starts to have a bit of a chat. "So, what did you do this evening?" he asks him.

    As Nicola is in bed and just about ready for sleep, it is too late for him to do anything. So it's too late to use the present perfect, even if it's not yet midnight.

    I imagine this analysis will give rise to some indignant protests from other teachers but I am adamant.

  4. #4
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What did you do this evening?

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    I know a lot of English teachers would agree with you, colloquium, but I beg to differ. I think this explanation is misleading.

    I imagine this analysis will give rise to some indignant protests from other teachers but I am adamant.
    No, I agree. My explanation is merely trying to make sense of the (suggested) answer.

    My explanation is based on the premise that the final part of the day is the "evening", so once we are in a position to see the evening as finished and subsequently look back on it, we can no longer refer to it as "this" evening because we're at the beginning of the next day.

    It is a horribly convaluted, question begging explanation which does very little in the way of explaining anything.

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