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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 19
    #1

    Have you ever/Did you ever

    Hello
    Can we say : Did you ever go whale watching ?
    or for example, "Did you ever wonder why the sky is blue?"
    Or Do we have to use only the present perfect with "ever" in such questions?
    Is it absolutely wrong to use the simple past tense with "ever"? Or is it just not standard English ?
    I'll be thankful for all your answers and I'll really appreciate a spesified and detialed answer.

    Thanks in advance.

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

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 4,146
    #2

    Re: Have you ever/Did you ever

    Quote Originally Posted by olj View Post
    hello
    can we say : Did you ever go whale watching ? yes
    or for example, "did you ever wonder why the sky is blue?" yes
    or do we have to use only the present perfect with "ever" in such questions? no. Some people may (prefer)(be used to) using perfect tense, but simple past tense is also correct.
    is it absolutely wrong to use the simple past tense with "ever"? no or is it just not standard english ? no, it is correct english.
    why do you think only perfect tense is correct?
    i'll be thankful for all your answers and i'll really appreciate a spesified and detialed answer.

    Thanks in advance.
    2006

  2. BobK's Avatar
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      • English
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      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: Have you ever/Did you ever

    Quote Originally Posted by olj View Post
    Hello
    Can we say : Did you ever go whale watching ?
    or for example, "Did you ever wonder why the sky is blue?"
    Or Do we have to use only the present perfect with "ever" in such questions?
    Is it absolutely wrong to use the simple past tense with "ever"? Or is it just not standard English ?
    I'll be thankful for all your answers and I'll really appreciate a spesified and detialed answer.

    Thanks in advance.

    Either. There's a preference for using the present perfect after "ever" in Br. English (and, more generally, an acceptance in Am. English of the simple past of "do" with adverbs of time - 'Did you have your breakfast yet?', which would sound alien to a British ear [but increasingly acceptable because of TV and film]).

    But even Br English accepts some cases of "did... ever": 'Did you ever see such a thing?' I imagine this is acceptable because the question is rhetorical. If the speaker (in Br English*) was really asking about someone's life experience they would use the present perfect: 'Have you ever swum with sharks?'

    Possibly, though, the close association of 'did' 'ever' and 'see such a thing' comes from the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (yet another case of an originally Br English usage - like 'fall' to mean autumn - preserved in Am. English).

    b

    *PS Added after posting, after notes clash. Incidentally, olj, traffic in this forum is very fast. So your post may disappear almost immediately from page 1 of 'Today's posts'; use the display option 'My Posts'.
    Last edited by BobK; 13-Nov-2008 at 12:51. Reason: Added PS

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