A: You can't keep me from seeing my daughter.

B: When you and your drinking are hurting her, I can.

A: Yeah, 'cause you've never did anything to hurt her, right? You wanted the divorce. I think that's hurt her more than anything else.

My question is if the line "'cause you've never did anything to hurt her" is completely natural here? Or does it indicate that B divorced A to (deliberately) hurt their daughter?

2 Answers 2


It's a rhetorical question: "'Cause you never did anything to hurt her, right?"
The question is quite natural in this context. Now that B has stated that A is hurting the daughter, A is trying to score a point in the argument by implying that B has hurt the daughter by divorcing A. There isn't necessarily an implication that A thinks B deliberately divorced A to hurt the daughter, but A is claiming that that was the effect.

  • Is "you've" wrong? Should it just be "you"?
    – egondala
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 9:16
  • You never did or you've never done would be more correct. Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 9:41
  • I completely agree with Kate Bunting's grammatical comment with reference to received English. Whether the characters in the quoted dialogue would use received English is something we cannot know. That is, the choice of non-standard grammar may be deliberate in order to help define the character speaking. Of course, it could be that the writer simply made an error. Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 14:00
  • @egondala I missed that word when I read the question. "You've" is wrong there. I agree with the other comments. But I haven't been able to google that text. Are you sure you transcribed it correctly? Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 14:35

In context, the meaning here is probably

but you must agree that you also did something that did hurt her

You are correct that the words could mean

you did something in order to hurt her

That does not seem a plausible interpretation based on the very short bit of dialogue given. People get divorced for many reasons, but doing so for the purpose of deliberately causing emotional or psychological harm to their children probably is relatively infrequent.

  • Would you rephrase the question or leave it as it is?
    – egondala
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 9:20
  • Because this is dialogue that should mimic speech, "something to hurt her" with the meaning of "something that unintentionally did hurt her" is consistent with normal speech patterns in the modern U.S. But see below for my comment to Kate Bunting. Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 13:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .