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Thread: Past simple

  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Past simple

    Hi,

    just simple question:

    A. I did send the letter last week
    B. I sent the letter last week

    for me B is right but many people use also A - here in EU but got it now from US colleague --- it is American way of past simple? I have in my head form Eng learning that "did" is used in question only.

    Thank you !
    Johny

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Past simple

    Welcome to the forum.

    "Did" is not used only in questions. It's also used to emphasise something, and when contradicting something said by someone else.

    John: Did you send the letter to Tom?
    Jane: Yes, I sent it yesterday.
    John: Are you sure you sent it? Tom says he hasn't received it.
    Jane: I did send it! I promise! I sent it on Tuesday.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. VIP Member
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    #3

    Re: Past simple

    This is an important point for English learners. I've encountered several speakers of English as a second language who learned what seems like an easier way to form the simple past: just put "did" before the bare infinitive. While it's true that this casts the action into the past, it also puts it into an insistent voice as ems illustrated above.

    If you use did + bare infinitive​ instead of the simple past, your English will sound very unnatural. It can be particularly hard to decode in the written form.
    I am not a teacher.

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