Would you be able to explain to me why do they use met in the first sentence, and meet in the second? I thought there is a past tense in common:

  1. We met at a party
  2. We didn't meet at a party
  • 'met' is just a short way of saying 'did meet'. Same as "We ate food" vs "We didn't eat food" here [ate = did eat]
    – Smock
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


To make the sentence negative, we added the helping verb "do", as there is no negative form of "meet".

helping verb (do) + infinitive (to meet)

Now, converting the sentence to past, we'll change the verb from present to past, and do will be changed to the past tense, hence meet will stay in its original present form.

You can see that "did not meet" is correct because the correct past tense is "did meet".

  • We didn't meet at a party.
  • We did not meet at a party.
  • We did meet at a party.
  • We did not met at a party. (Not correct)

  • We met at a party.

  • We met not at a party. (Not standard English)

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