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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Aug 2014
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Did you need anything? VS Do you need anything?

    Hi there, it's my first time posting on the site and I have a question for you guys..

    What's the difference between these 2 sentences?

    1. Did you need/want anything? VS 2.Do you need/want anything?

    Because I often use the first sentence without actually thinking about it.
    And I'm sure they're both correct..

    Here's an example of when I would use these sentences..
    I'll be on the phone telling my friend that I'm going to Safeway,
    or telling my co-worker in person that I'm going to the Starbucks downstairs.

    1. I'm going to Safeway (right now). Did you need/want anything?
    2. I'm going to Safeway (right now). Do you need/want anything?

    I usually say the first sentence, and I don't actually say 'right now,' and I use it when I'm just heading out somewhere.
    I always thought that using the past tense (did), made it a little more polite. But when a friend who's an ESL student asked me, I started to question myself.

    I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks for reading this! :)

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,463
    #2

    Re: Did you need anything? VS Do you need anything?

    Welcome to the forum, choco-chip.

    As a native English speaker, you know they are indeed both correct.

    'Do you want/need anything?' is the more logical question, but nobody said English is/was logical.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,568
    #3

    Re: Did you need anything? VS Do you need anything?

    Right. Both are good conversational English. Neither is more polite than the other.

    Welcome!

  3. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Aug 2014
    • Posts: 2
    #4

    Re: Did you need anything? VS Do you need anything?

    I'm glad to hear this!
    Thanks for the explanations! :D

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,829
    #5

    Re: Did you need anything? VS Do you need anything?

    Please note that there is no need to write a new post to say you're happy or to thank us. Click on the Like button to show that you are happy with the response. Click on the Thank button to say "Thank you". It saves a lot of time for all of us.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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