1

What is difference between the following statements:

  1. Did you tell your parents yet?
  2. Have you told your parents yet?
  3. Haven't you told your parents yet?

Are these questions correct? why do we use one over another in some cases? What is the difference in meaning?

  • Any decent English grammar book can answer all three of your questions. That's what grammar books are for. Here on ELL, people only answer specific questions you might have that cannot be answered by consulting a grammar book or a dictionary. – Michael Rybkin Nov 13 '18 at 15:55
  • To my British ears, 1) is American, and I would never say it. Only 2 and 3 in British English. – Colin Fine Nov 13 '18 at 17:15
  • The temporal adverb 'yet' makes the present perfect work much better than past tense. The question with 'not' can't be unambiguously answered by a simple 'yes' or 'no'. – amI Nov 13 '18 at 17:52
  • @ColinFine to quote Henry Higgins, "There even are places where English completely disappears / Well in America, they haven't used it for years! " :) – Andrew Nov 21 '18 at 17:08
1

Both "Did you tell your parents yet?" and "Have you told your parents yet?" mean the same thing: you're just asking for information. As Colin mentioned in his comment, there may be cultural differences there. For me (in Canada), both sound equally common, but that may not be so in British English.

"Haven't you told your parents yet?" asks for the same information, but also expresses that you think the person should have done so already.

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.