Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Unregistered
    Guest
    #1

    Red face Why 'did' at the end of a sentence?

    Hi,

    'Suzy said she might phone today, but I donīt think she did'

    Could anyone explain why we use 'did' at the end of the second clause and not do?

    If I write it another way:

    'Suzy said she might phone today, but I donīt think she has'

    both sentences have the same meaning, but the tenses are different - 'did' being past and 'has' being present.

    I need to explain this to a student, but really donīt understand myself, so any clues would be really appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Kerrie

  2. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #2

    Re: Why 'did' at the end of a sentence?

    Past time is over
    Suzy said she might phone today, but I don't think she did / did phone / phoned today.

    It's 6 p.m. now and our offices are closed for the day. Suzy said she might call today, but I don't think she did / did call / called.



    Present time is not over
    Suzy said she might phone today, but I don't think she has yet / has phoned yet today.

    It's 10 a.m. now and our offices close at 6 p.m. Suzy said she might call today, but I don't think she has yet / has called yet.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #3

    Re: Why 'did' at the end of a sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hi,

    'Suzy said she might phone today, but I donīt think she did'

    Could anyone explain why we use 'did' at the end of the second clause and not do?

    If I write it another way:
    The sentence is correct speaking English.

    In speaking English parts of a clause may be missing if they are obvious to the listener.

    "Suzy said she might phone today, but I donīt think she did (phone)."

    however, there is also more information that can be gained from this sentence. The fact that the person used the past tense in the sentence means that the person said the sentence near the end of the day. The day is almost over and the speaker is expressing the fact that someone probably didn't phone.

    If the sentence was...

    "Suzy said she might phone today, but I donīt think she will (phone)."

    Here the future tense is used so the time of day is at the beginning of the day. The speaker is expressing doubt that the person will do the action before the day has ended.

  3. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,969
    #4

    Wink Re: Why 'did' at the end of a sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naamplao View Post
    ...
    If the sentence was...

    "Suzy said she might phone today, but I donīt think she will (phone)."

    Here the future tense is used so the time of day is at the beginning of the day. The speaker is expressing doubt that the person will do the action before the day has ended.
    A very good remark on the issue.

    I wouldn't, however, say that '...the future tense is used so the time of day is at the beginning of the day...'. It's more to do with the possible action after somebody's saying to do something (in our case Suzy's saying that she might phone).


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #5

    Re: Why 'did' at the end of a sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    A very good remark on the issue.

    I wouldn't, however, say that '...the future tense is used so the time of day is at the beginning of the day...'. It's more to do with the possible action after somebody's saying to do something (in our case Suzy's saying that she might phone).
    I stand corrected...you are right...It does not necessarily mean the beginning of the day but it probably is not at the end of the day either since then the past tense would apply. The use of "will" implies that there is still time for her to phone in spite of one's doubt that Suzy will do it.

  4. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #6

    Re: Why 'did' at the end of a sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naamplao View Post
    The use of "will" implies that there is still time for her to phone in spite of one's doubt that Suzy will do it.
    Good insight, and the same holds true for present perfect has.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 2
    #7

    Smile Re: Why 'did' at the end of a sentence?

    Thank you. That was really helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. sentence structure question
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 17-Jan-2008, 10:53
  2. the whole sentence used as a noun
    By hamoodee in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-Oct-2006, 16:55
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Sep-2006, 14:07
  4. Attributive Clause - China Needs Your Help
    By ChinaDavid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-Jan-2005, 16:56
  5. grammar
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 17-Dec-2003, 20:02

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •