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When we type the password incorrectly to log into the website, the prompt is "Did you forget your password?".

However, I think it's the current situation so it might be better to say "Do you forget your password?".

Or, might it be better to say "Have you forgotten your password?" since you forgot your password in the past and its effect is in the present.

Can someone help me?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com May 2 '17 at 0:38

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  • Someone thought "did you..." was friendlier and "have you forgotten..." was more highbrow and magisterial. Why? Well there appears to be a SE for practically everything now, including one for user experience. – Spencer Apr 28 '17 at 11:42
  • Either the first or the last is fine. "Do you forget your password?" doesn't really work, as it sounds like it questions a habit you might have. To put it into perspective, a website could ask when you sign up: Do you forget your password? Your password seems complex, so you might like to make it more memorable. Of course, that would go against password security principles. – Dog Lover May 2 '17 at 0:37
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Although you are reading the message in the present moment, there's nothing wrong about it referring to a past event. It's because you typed your password incorrectly in the past that you are now at this screen. They can refer back to your previous action of having typed the password in wrong and this is what they are doing here.

"Did you forget your password?" ... implying ... when you just typed your password incorrectly.

So there's nothing wrong with the original sentence, as they are referring back to the instance when you just typed your password wrong.

In fact you could even make a case for it being better than the present tense I would say. Because they are referring to the fact that you have just typed (past tense) a password incorrectly.

  • Thanks a lot ;) Then how about present perfect? – lori Apr 28 '17 at 0:16
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    @lori Your welcome, that would be "Have you forgotten your password" - here is a list of conjugations for the verb forget. – Gary Apr 28 '17 at 0:22
  • So i mean why not present prefect? why past? – lori Apr 28 '17 at 0:25
  • @lori Because they were written by programmers who did not bother to consult with us before compiling their programs. – Cascabel Apr 28 '17 at 0:49
  • Because "Did you forget" is simpler than "Have you forgotten" – Xanne Apr 28 '17 at 0:50
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Did you forget your password?

If you forgot your password at some moment in the past (and haven't recalled it since then), that would explain why you don't know it right now.

Do you forget your password?

This is asking about a habitual action. If you answered yes to this question it would imply that many times when you've gotten a new password, you subsequently forgot it.

But in the scenario of trying to log in to a website, it doesn't matter whether you forgot some previous password, or if you're likely to forget the next password you're given. It only matters if you forgot the latest password you had for that site.

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