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My two daughters were watching TV.

The elder girl suddenly said,

" It's stink! Who farted?".

She looked around. Then she looked at her little baby sister.

".....Are you?"


I laughed and told her that she should've said "Did you?" Instead.

I wonder if I was right. I meant "Did you fart?", but it could be " Are you (the one)/hiding/pooping ?".

I want my kids to speak proper English, but English is my second language.

  • We use 'did' with a past action - "Who farted? Did you?". – Michael Harvey Nov 16 at 15:42
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Perhaps the most natural question would be "Was it you [who farted]?". It would not be strange to ask "Did you [fart]?" Since there has been no mention of "hiding" previously it would be hard to understand "Are you" as meaning "are you hiding it?"

Correctness in this kind of context isn't very important. Children will pick up correct English at a young age, providing they get enough contact (especially with other children) Young children make all kinds of "mistakes" in grammar and often their (native English speaking) parents don't correct them, yet somehow Language grows in their minds. So don't worry too much about correcting each perceived error. Especially in very casual contexts (like asking a baby if she has farted)

It would be more normal to say "It stinks" rather than "It's skink" You can use "stink" as a verb.

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"Did you?" is correct. It's just short for "Did you fart?"

The best way to check is just to imagine it as a full sentence, which you've seem to have already done. You can then easily see that "Are you fart?" is clearly wrong.

  • Thank you for your answer! Is it still wrong if she meant to find who farted? "Are you the one who farted?" – I'mALittleBus Nov 16 at 15:53
  • She even came to the next room to ask me "Are you?". Then I wondered if " Are you?" was one of choice. – I'mALittleBus Nov 16 at 16:01
  • "Are you" would only make sense in a full sentence in this case. If on the other hand, you said "Someone in this room is a vampire!", then "Are you?" would appropriate. "Did" seems to question whether you performed an action (Eg: fart). "Are" seems to ask whether you are something (Eg: a vampire). – WeavingBird1917 Nov 16 at 16:20
  • Or consider the response to the question "Who farted?" It would be natural to say "I did (it)" or "It was me (who farted)" in response, but not "I am". On the other hand if the question was "Who was the one who farted?" then "I was (the one)" or "(It was) Me" would seem appropriate. – WeavingBird1917 Nov 16 at 16:22

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