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Easy Grammar – Did

When do you use “did?”

When you want to talk about something in the past.

You only need to use “did” when you ask a question or say something in the negative (with “not”).

“Did” is used in the past simple tense. The past simple is the simplest form of the past. You use it when you want to talk about something that happened yesterday, last week, when you were a child, or about some other time in the past, for instance in the 18th century.

Here are some examples:

Questions

Did you see the news yesterday evening?

Did they go to Italy last summer?

When did the riots break out in Turkey?

did-you-know

Negatives

She didn’t come to the movies with me last night.

Last time he didn’t pay, so now it’s his turn.

The poet Emily Dickinson didn’t leave her house much.

Maybe you’ve it noticed already: You don’t need to change the verb when you use “did.” In the above sentences, the verb is in the basic form of the verb (infinitive). If you don’t know what a basic verb is, have a look here: https://englishwithasmile.org/2013/06/04/how-to-recognize-the-basic-form-of-a-verb/

Note: If you have a question or negative sentence with “to be,” you don’t need to use “did.”

Contractions with did

When you speak, you say “didn’t” instead of “did not.” You may also write it like that. This way of shortening two words into one word is called a contraction.

Exercise 1:

Some of these sentences need “did,” others don’t need anything. Only fill in “did” if required.

1 Alice _________ not play hockey yesterday, because she felt ill.

2 Last week, they finally _________ bought a house.

3 I ________ not see him at the party Saturday.

4 What ________ you do at the weekend?

5 The bus _______ not come, so we walked.

6 _________ you sleep well last night?

7 That guy ________ made no notes during the whole lecture.

Exercise 2:

Make these sentences negative:

1 Annie had a big red tomcat.

2 Perry saw the car speeding round the corner.

3 I got your email late at night.

4 They did the dishes after the dinner.

Answers: Underneath after you’ve scrolled down.

Answers:

Exercise 1:

1 did

2 –

3 did

4 did

5 did

6 did

7 –

Exercise 2:

1 Suzan didn’t have a big red tomcat.

2 Perry didn’t see the car speeding round the corner.

3 I didn’t get your email late at night.

4 They didn’t do the dishes after the dinner.

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