Which of the following is the correct sentence?

You didn't painted the house.

You didn't paint the house.

If I have to guess the second sentence is correct because did is past tense and painted also past tense. In a sentence we should not use two past tense? Am I correct?

  • 3
    When did functions as an auxiliary verb, the main verb should be a bare infinitive(a plain form of a verb). Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:06
  • Are you self-taught by any chance? Have you ever studied English formally?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:20

2 Answers 2


In English we can only have one tensed verb in a verb phrase. The auxiliary DO is always tensed. It is always either past tense or present tense.

If we use the auxiliary DO, the Complement verb phrase will always use a PLAIN form of the verb. This is the word you see in the dictionary.

  • She didn't PAINT the house.

Notice in the sentence above that because did is in the past tense, the verb paint cannot be past tense. It is in the plain form. Notice also that the verb paint is not present tense. The following sentence is ungrammatical:

  • She didn't paints the house. (ungrammatical).

This is very very basic English grammar. Forms of do are always followed by the plain ("infinitive") form of the verb: the do shows the tense, the verb doesn't.

  • 1
    I actually dont like saying followed, because we say All I did was not all I did is. I confused that when I was kid :) Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:27
  • 3
    Agreed that I oversimplified. I was talking about the auxiliary "do", not the lexical verb "do" (which is not normally followed by any verb). Your examples involve a complex structure with an embedded relative clause.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:31
  • Personally, I would also mention the missing apostrophes in the OP's examples.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:31

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