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Does it mean "did you see something you like?" or "do you see something you like?"?

I just saw it on a TV show (Westworld-Ep2) and I'm wondering.

  • Do you understand the difference between the tenses simple present and simple past? (By the way, scripts of television programs and films often use constructions of which an English teacher would disapprove. It doesn't matter, and no-one cares.) – P. E. Dant Jul 17 '17 at 1:06
  • If you're talking about the difference between for example I saw / I have seen, yes I understand the difference the latter have some relation with the present though it's more used in england and the former in the US. ( I focus on learning vocabulary I don't memorize the names of tenses) thanks for the answer. – VeryBadAtEnglish Jul 17 '17 at 14:31
  • Expanding on Colin's comment: the Google search engine just indexes millions of random websites, created by people from all over the world. It has little or no value as a learning resource. Use an English language dictionary, and read English language works of fiction and non-fiction (such as history or biography) to increase your fluency. – P. E. Dant Jul 17 '17 at 18:07
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Either. Depends entirely on context. If the person is currently looking, "Do you"; if they have stopped looking, "did you".

  • I just typed did you see something you like on google and found did you see something you ''Liked'' , so I think it's the do you see something you like. – VeryBadAtEnglish Jul 17 '17 at 0:11
  • Yes "see something you liked" is more likely if the meaning is in the past; but "Did you see something you like?" is still possible. – Colin Fine Jul 17 '17 at 13:37
  • Note that Googling for something like this is not necessarily very helpful.: you've not usually any way of telling whether the phrases you found were written by native English speakers or not. – Colin Fine Jul 17 '17 at 14:56
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A shop assistant might ask a customer who is looking through a rail of dresses 'Do you see something you like?', shortened to 'See something you like?' On returning home, her husband might ask 'Did you see something you liked?', or just 'See something you liked?' (but 'liked' would agree with the tense of 'did').

The mix of tenses in "Did you see something you like?" makes it a bit unlikely to be used. I can imagine a scenario where, returning from the cinema, you're asked "Did you see something you like?" meaning a class of movie rather than a specific one. Was it a comedy (which you like) rather than a Western (which you dont)? This is getting a bit contrived though.

A simple 'See something you like?' might be a cheeky response from a women to a man who had been 'checking her out'. This is a quite likely reading if the source was Western popular culture such as a TV show! And I suspect it's the right meaning here.

  • "See something you liked" doesn't make sense, it implies the wife no longer likes it. "See something you like?" can also mean "Did you see something you like?" (the seeing is in the past, but the wife continues to like it) – Erin Jan 24 at 1:43
  • None the less, "Did you see something you liked?" is standard colloquial useage. If there's a distinction, 'liked' might refer to a specific item, 'like' to a class of items'. I LIKED the blue dress. I LIKE clothes. (So I bought one dress that I LIKED particularly. I still like it.) – Laurence Payne Jan 24 at 14:21
  • Colloquial in which country? It sounds quite weird to my Australian ears. If I saw that written, I would understand what was meant, but would assume the writer was ESL. – Erin Jan 25 at 0:44
  • Sounds OK to my London, UK ears! – Laurence Payne Jan 25 at 15:16

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