Consider the statement

  1. Dill said "where did come you from?"

Why can't it be "where have you come from"?

I know simple past is used for specific time and present perfect focuses more on results of the action but main motive of sentence is to find out the place from where he came so can both tenses be applied and what would be the difference between them.i just can't figure out why it is not "where have you come from".

  • 1
    "Where did you from?" is bad English, and no native speaker would ever say it. – Michael Harvey Dec 7 '18 at 18:44
  • This sentence Is in "to kill a mockingbird" book. – Manish Kumar Balayan Dec 7 '18 at 18:46
  • Sorry for omission of "come" – Manish Kumar Balayan Dec 7 '18 at 18:55

The action in this sentence is "come." It has started and completed in the past. It is for this reason that we would use the past perfect tense. It is grammatically correct when written as "where did you come from?"

For more on the past perfect tense: https://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/past-perfect-use.html

We would not use "have come" because this would make it seem that the action was still ongoing when the question was asked. This tense is the present perfect.

It is often informally asked as "where have you come from." This is not correct but widely used.

  • I think past perfect is used when one action occurs before another in past. – Manish Kumar Balayan Dec 8 '18 at 8:14

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.