Why would you waste 3 dollars to buy this ?

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crazYgeeK

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Jun 9, 2010
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Vietnamese
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Vietnam
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Hi, I can understand what this sentence means, but I don't know which tense is used in this case.
Can I replace "Why would you waste 3 dollars to buy this?"
by "Why did you waste 3 dollars to buy this?" or anything else ?
Please let me know the differences between them. Thank you very much !
 

emsr2d2

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Jul 28, 2009
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English Teacher
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British English
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UK
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UK
Hi, I can understand what this sentence means, but I don't know which tense is used in this case.
Can I replace "Why would you waste 3 dollars to buy this?"
by "Why did you waste 3 dollars to buy this?" or anything else ?
Please let me know the differences between them. Thank you very much !

"Why did you..." means that the person you are speaking to already bought the thing for $3.

However, although you can ask "Why would you..." to a person who has already bought it, you could also ask it as a general, almost rhetorical, question. If you ask it that way, the "you" replaces "anyone".

You might see an advert for something completely useless or bizarre, which is priced at $3 and you may think or say, incredulously "Why would you (anyone) waste $3 on that?"
 
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