A: We went fishing at a pond last night.
B: oh have you? I tried it before.

I think 'have you' doesn't sound correct because the former sentence is told in the past tense. But I'd like to know if it is natural for you to say 'have you?' instead of 'did you' in the daily conversation and sounds ok to native speakers.


A: I caught a big fish with my hands.
B: Sounds fun. Did you do something else?

Does this conversation sound natural to you or somewhat awkward?

What do you think about the two conversations above?

  • Usually, when we reply with a full sentence, we use the same verb. Did you? I did. Have you? I have. Were you? I was.
    – Davo
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


No, it does not sound natural.

For one reason, you're referring (incorrectly) to an action that occurred "last night" with the present perfect. You need to say, "Oh, did you?" if you're responding to "We went fishing last night".

A time phrase in a present perfect construction cannot exclude the present. Last night excludes the present. Your reply is governed by the time context of the statement you are replying to.

Where you say "I tried it before" it would be better to use the present perfect and eliminate "before". I've tried it. A long-winded paraphrase: You are a person whose experience includes fishing. Experience is your present perspective on your past. That's the reason for the present perfect there.

More natural, perhaps, than "I've tried it" would be I've gone fishing or I went fishing once.

Finally, it is not clear what your intended meaning is with "Did you do something else?" In that little dramatic scenario, there's nothing to justify or explain the phrase "something else". If I take a guess at what you are trying to say there, I would suggest "What else have you done?" To paraphrase: "What other interesting things have you done (that is, things similar to catching a fish with your bare hands)?"

  • Nice. I suspect that "something else" = "anything else (interesting)". Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 11:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .