Which is the correct sentence in the examples below?

  1. He didn't mentioned anything?
    or He doesn't mentioned anything?

  2. He didn't told me?
    or He didn't tell me? (Since, I believe we should not use two past tenses in the same sentence)

  • Normally "requests to correct" are treated as proofreading requests, which are not allowed here on this site. But since you have added the nature of your doubt (" believe we should not use two past tenses in the same sentence") your question should be allowed. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 5 '16 at 9:13
  • It helps us write a better answer for you if we understand a bit more why you're asking about these sentences. It's better to explain why you're unsure which of two options is correct than to ask for people to correct the sentences. – ColleenV Oct 5 '16 at 11:10

When using did as an "auxiliary" or "helper" verb to form the past tense, it is used with the bare infinitive of the verb in question, the "lexical" verb.

He didn't mention anything.

He didn't tell me.

Here we form the past tense using the lexical verb only, which is a shade more formal:

He mentioned nothing.

He told me nothing about that.

To form the past tense of some verbs, we add the -ed ending to the bare infinitive (mention -> mentioned). With other verbs, the vowel changes (tell -> told).

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Yes. It's nothing to do with whether you can use two past tenses in the same sentence. The auxiliary "do/does/did" always takes the bare infinitive of the main verb, not a past form. – Colin Fine Oct 5 '16 at 9:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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