“Did” Always Takes the Present Tense

This page was first published on the 27th of October, 2016 and last updated on the 8th of May, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

question photoDid always takes the present tense”. And that’s something you should know. Even though the action happened in the past, if the word “did” appears before the verb, the verb must be in the present tense.

Let’s look at the following examples:

I did go to the market yesterday. NOT: I did went to the market yesterday.

Did you tell your parents about it? NOT: Did you told your parents about it?

Did you speak to the teacher? NOT: Did you spoke to the teacher?

I did speak to the authorities about the matter. NOT: I did spoke to the authorities about the matter.

I was prompted to write this article after I remembered hearing some high level officials making the mistake of using the past tense with “did”. I was in a meeting some days back, and the main speaker said “I did spoke to the officials about the matter”.

It struck me then that this must be a somewhat prevalent mistake in the English language and one we should work to correct.


Related: How Standard English Can Make Guyana Richer

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