Yesterday a friend told me she was having a problem with an assignment and I couldn't help her. Today I was curious whether she had solved it, so I wanted to ask:

Did you manage to solve the problem?


Have you solved the problem?

Then I thought maybe I should write:

Have you managed to solve the problem?

But the last option sounded unnatural to me - why so? Is there some rule of not mixing "manage to" with the Perfect forms?

  • 2
    Have you managed to solve it, not solved. Jan 29, 2020 at 13:13
  • 1
    Yeah, thanks. I meant that of course.
    – kade99
    Jan 30, 2020 at 1:00
  • 1
    All three versions (after the edit) are valid and reasonably idiomatic.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 30, 2020 at 2:18

1 Answer 1


All three of your example sentences are perfectly idiomatic. A fourth option is:

Did you solve the problem?

The options can be written like this:

Did you [manage to] solve the problem?

Have you [solved]/[managed to solve] the problem?

Perhaps you have just never heard "managed to solve" before, so it sounds unnatural to you.

The next verb after "have" has to be a past participle, whereas the next verb after "did" has to be in the infinitive. Apart from that the constructions are parallel and there are no difficulties with any of them.

There is no reason why "Have/Has [pronoun/noun phrase] managed to [verb]" should be avoided.

  • Notice that FF responded in a comment to a question inappropriate on ELU (and certainly so as it invites unsupported 'Y, not X' answers). Jan 29, 2020 at 14:04
  • Sorry, I wrote that accidentally. I have just corrected it. My question remains present.
    – kade99
    Jan 30, 2020 at 1:00
  • @EdwinAshworth: I don't understand your comment (inappropriate on ELU?). To be honest, I don't really understand the question here, but the fact that OP has corrected that syntax error and still considers his question "unanswered" suggests that my comment was a perfectly legitimate attempt to clean the question text up so we could focus on whatever it is he's really having trouble with. But I have voted to migrate it to ELL, if that's what you meant. Jan 30, 2020 at 16:11
  • @FF Collins: 'Somehow, he'd managed to persuade Kay to buy one for him.' // CED: 'A small dog had somehow managed to survive the fire.' But no research shown in question. And no supporting reference in answer. Jan 30, 2020 at 16:31

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