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WAS and DID Options
NirmalPriyaVishnu
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 9:41:18 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 135
Neurons: 540
Location: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Hi All,

Greetings for the Day !

My question is "What is the difference between WAS and DID?"
i don't know where i have to use WAS and DID. i think both are denoting past.
kindly help me regarding the same.

Thanks
Seth
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 11:54:49 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/4/2011
Posts: 15
Neurons: 45
Location: Japan
Well, it's actually quite surprising to me to see somebody writing the way you do asking that kind of question.

But here's the answer:

Was = a state = be

Did = an action = do

You don't "do be there", you "are there" so past tense would be "you Were there".

On the other hand you "do eat a cheeseburger". This construction is never actually used but in some movies or books but it is still correct to say it. in that case you can say "he did eat a cheeseburger".

Of course modern English forces the "do" to be disposed of being useless due to the verb "eat" in that sentence.

This is why you actually only see it when the actual action is not "to do + verb + action" but "Do + action" ("he did several things yesterday") or when you pose a question (and there you will see why my previous sentence with Do + verb + action is correct) => "Did he wash the able ?" / "Does is wash the table ?"

Answer would then be "yes he did" / "Yes he does"

There, hope it helped, if not, then i guess a whole bunch of gentle teachers is going to come to help you out.

GeorgeV
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011 12:13:24 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/3/2009
Posts: 888
Neurons: 2,410
Location: Canada
I agree with Seth about being surprised. But maybe his explanation is too complicated.

ramannirmal wrote:
My question is "What is the difference between WAS and DID?"
i don't know where i have to use WAS and DID.


raman - You used the two verbs correctly in the present tense. You just have to change them into past

> What was the difference ...
> I did not know ...


and you have the answer.
sahra
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011 9:01:22 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/4/2011
Posts: 16
Neurons: 48
Location: Algeria
Hi guys!
I join both Seth and George V in surprise! Let me tell you Ramannirmal, you write nicely... Any way I just wanted to add something to what Seth wrote about the "to do + verb + action" form. Some times it is used to emphasize; for example: I do believe things will be better.
Ava
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011 2:47:28 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/17/2011
Posts: 46
Neurons: 157
ramannirmal wrote:
Hi All,

Greetings for the Day !

My question is "What is the difference between WAS and DID?"
i don't know where i have to use WAS and DID. i think both are denoting past.
kindly help me regarding the same.

Thanks


That's what I DID when I WAS young. I DO things differently now that I AM older.
blue2
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011 3:17:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/2010
Posts: 2,552
Neurons: 23,044
Location: Préveza, Epirus, Greece
I concur with the above.

Maybe you want to know when to use them as auxiliary verbs?

If the main verb of your statement is "was", then you just reverse the order of subject + verb to form a question. No other auxiliary verb. Was plays both roles.
He was here. Was he here?

If your statement is in past continuous, you also reverse the word order for the question. "Was" in this case is the auxiliary verb.
He was running to catch the bus. Was he running to catch the bus?

If your statement is in simple past and is not the verb "to be", then you need the auxiliary verb "did" to form the question.
He ran very fast. Did he run very fast?

I don't know if that's what you were asking, but there you are.

Note: did and was are not used together!
thar
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 4:08:04 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 22,414
Neurons: 90,814
Do or did is only used as an auxiliary if you are not already using one.

A simple verb in English can only cover the present and simple past tense:
I sleep, I slept.

for any other tenses, you use an auxiliary (be, have)
I am sleeping
I will be sleeping
I was sleeping
I have slept

and you can combine to make complex tenses
I will have been sleeping

when you make a question, a negative, or a positive answer, it is the auxiliary you change around
I am sleeping - Am I sleeping?
I have slept - Have I slept?
I will sleep - I will not sleep

When you are using the simple present or past, (I sleep, I slept) there is no auxiliary, so you add DO
I sleep
Do you sleep?
Yes I do
No I do not.

I slept
Did I sleep?
Yes, I did
No, I did not.

The did is only used in these situations because these are the only ones where you do not already have an auxiliary verb to use, eg
I was sleeping
Was I sleeping?
Yes, I was
No, I was not

In old English, and still in poetic prose, you will find the simple without the auxiliary
slept you well?
I slept not

but this is wrong for current modern English, so if there is no auxiliary and you are trying to make a question, negative, an emphatic postive, or a short answer, you add do as an auxiliary.

I think that is your problem, and I hope my answer makes sense.

Visca Lesmana
Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 2:03:57 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 1
Neurons: 5
Which one is correct?

I wasn’t asking that ?
I didn’t ask/I didn’t asking that ?

And will it make a different meaning if it says incorrect?

Thanks

FounDit
Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 2:09:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,062
Neurons: 66,973
Visca Lesmana wrote:
Which one is correct?

I wasn’t asking that ? This is correct.
I didn’t ask This is correct. /I didn’t asking that ? This is not correct. It should be, "I didn't ask that".

And will it make a different meaning if it says incorrect?

Thanks

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