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I was talking to a person on chat. Yesterday he asked me a question. Today I replied, then added:

Did I answer your question?

Now that I think about it I should have probably phrased it like so:

Have I answered your question?

Is that so? I tried to find a rule that governs it, but failed. Let's take these ones, for example. The closest is probably "change over time" item. But the examples there are far from being similar to the question at hand.

Are there conditions under which "did I answer" question can be employed?

  • I would use "did" rather than "have". I would use either "Did I answer your question?" or "Does this explanation answer your question?". I realize I've not sufficiently answered your question... I'm not sure why I would use "did" rather than "have". – Edward Barnard Sep 17 at 20:20
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In short, neither sounds especially out of place. But I believe there is a slight distinction.

"Did" implies the event in question is over. If you can't remember if you replied to someone's question via email you might say "Did I answer your question?"

"Have" implies the event is still ongoing. If you want to know if you fully answered the question, and would elaborate if you haven't answered fully you might say "Have I answered your question?"

You can read more about this distinction here

Personally, I'd say "Does that answer your question?" because the emphasis is more on the explanation than on me. "Have I answered your question" sounds like something tech support people say before they ask you to answer a survey about how helpful they are.

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There's little difference between them, and so they are largely interchangeable.

Since there was a day's gap between attempting to answer the question and checking to see that it had been answered, I personally would view the answering as a single, discrete event happening exclusively in the past. You could use have I answered, as that would also be true (you continue in the state of having answered the question previously) but the break in communication leads me to prefer the simple past tense formulation.

People sometimes have strong habits with roughly equivalent sentence constructions and passive versus active voice, but this is a case where neither option is wrong.

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