Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the correct way to highlight that the action was done for sure?

  • I did wrote that document
  • I did write that document

The options are similar to how we highlight action in present: we say "I do work!" But I'm not sure how to say it in the past.

Thanks in advance.

share|improve this question
    
@mplungjan, I know tenses, but it's a quite rare situation. But, yes, maybe it make sense to move it there. –  kirmir Jun 19 '13 at 13:42
1  
I did write that document is completely correct and emphasizes the fact that you wrote it or you already wrote it depending on where you stress the sentence. Did plus past tense is NEVER correct –  mplungjan Jun 19 '13 at 13:46
    
Put your answer as an answer please. –  kirmir Jun 19 '13 at 13:47
add comment

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jun 19 '13 at 16:06

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I did write that document is completely correct and emphasizes the fact that you wrote it or you already wrote it depending on where you stress the sentence.

Did plus past tense is NEVER correct

share|improve this answer
    
+1 If you're just annotating a list, "DONE" works, too. –  StoneyB Jun 19 '13 at 14:26
add comment

As others have already pointed out, I did wrote (or indeed, any past tense verb) is never correct.

But it's also worth mentioning that I did [infinitive without "to"] is an archaic construction. Except when it's being used for emphasis. The stress is normally on the word did - emphasising that you actually performed the action (usually, when contradicting someone who's suggested that maybe you didn't), but in some cases the stress may fall on the ("to-less" infinitive) verb...

I did write to him, but I never actually checked to see if he received my letter.
(if write is stressed, probably it will be in contrast to another verb which will also be stressed).

If you can't naturally imagine heavy stress on either did or the verb following, you don't want did at all.

share|improve this answer
    
I'm assuming that the OP would be saying this sentence is response to a question like, "Why did't you write that document?" In which case, the proper response would be, "I did write that document." –  Daniel Jun 19 '13 at 20:00
    
@Daniel: Absolutely. In this case OP very specifically says in the question title that he's asking about the emphatic was done for sure context. And strictly speaking there's nothing to say apart from the very basic point that when did is used as an "emphasiser", the "main" verb must be in infinitive form (it doesn't have a tense). But many other learners will be unaware that this particular "do-support" usage only occurs today in emphatic contexts, whereas a century or two ago it was perfectly normal in any context. –  FumbleFingers Jun 19 '13 at 23:41
    
(Note that the question itself has received no upvotes at all, as I write. Because even for learners, it's pretty basic.) –  FumbleFingers Jun 19 '13 at 23:44
add comment

Depends on what you are highlighting - the fact that you "did" something, or the fact that you "wrote" something. Use of both verbs is un-necessary, and sounds petulant in both spoken and written English.

The statmement:

I *wrote* that document.

is both succinct and declarative.

Alternately,

I *did* that.

is also declarative, but less definitive of what you did - unless there is a context already in play.

share|improve this answer
    
I think the OP is asking, for example, in response to a question like, "Why didn't you write that document?" And the proper response should be, "I did write that document." –  Daniel Jun 19 '13 at 19:59
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.