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    • Join Date: May 2007
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    #1

    see saw

    Just for an example: see and saw:
    Did I see you yesterday?
    No, I did not see you yesterday.

    How do you explain that you do not use "saw" in any of the above?

  1. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: see saw

    Quote Originally Posted by Jgap View Post
    Just for an example: see and saw:
    Did I see you yesterday?
    No, I did not see you yesterday.

    How do you explain that you do not use "saw" in any of the above?
    "Saw" is used only in affirmative(positive) sentences. In interrogative and negative sentences,as you can see, we use "see".
    Did you see me yesterday?
    No, I didn't see you yesterday.
    Yes, I saw you yesterday.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: see saw

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    "Saw" is used only in affirmative(positive) sentences. In interrogative and negative sentences,as you can see, we use "see".
    Did you see me yesterday?
    No, I didn't see you yesterday.
    Yes, I saw you yesterday.
    Maybe this will be helpful as well.

    If you see (while reading) or hear (while listening),

    did / didn't

    then you use the basic form of the verb, the infinitive (without to). Cf.

    Did you help Mike with his homework last night?
    I did help Mike with his homework last night. = But I helped Mike with his homework last night, really!
    You didn't help Mike with his homework last night, did you?


    The same goes for the present simple tense form of the verb (concerning he / she / it):

    if you see (while reading) or hear (while listening),

    does / doesn't

    then you use the basic form of the verb, the infinitive (without to). Cf.

    Does she work in a hospital?
    She does work in a hospital. = Believe me, she works in a hospital.
    She doesn't work in a hospital at all!


    The above doesn't apply to modal verbs and the verb to be!

  3. Noego's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: see saw

    Do you understand Jgap?

    Would you like some more examples or some more simple explanations?

    I think the advice you've been given here is very good. I must admit though that when I started learning English I was confused by a lot some of the grammatical terminology.

    I don't mean to say that the previous advice is too complicated, I think it's very good.
    Last edited by Noego; 09-Jun-2007 at 00:34.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #5

    Re: see saw

    Welcome, Jgap.

    In addition to the fabulous advice you've received so far, I've this little trick of the trade to share with you. There's this rule in English that says that you can have only one verb per simple sentence carry tense. The other verb stays in its base form--a form that often looks like the present tense, but it's not. For example, the verb see in your example sentence is in its base form, and it doesn't change to past tense saw, because there's already a verb carrying tense, past tense:

    Did I see you yesterday? <Did carries tense; see does not>
    No, I did not see you yesterday.

    All the best.

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