What is the difference in meaning between the question did you ever do something? and have you ever done something? without referring to any period in the past? For example, in the 17th episode of the 6th season of Friends, Ross asks Joey the following.

Ross: Hey Joe did… Did you ever have a threesome?

Joey: (not quite sure of how to answer that) Well uh, look Ross I uh, I think Carol’s great and I’m sure you’re a very attractive man, but I….

Ross: No! The reason I’m asking is that… I sorta had one last night.

I canno get why he didn't say have you ever had...?, which would make sense becase he didn't refer to any period of time in the past in the episode.

  • 1
    As a British English speaker, I would say "Have you ever had...?" American usage is different. Jun 8, 2020 at 12:37
  • AE often uses past simple, where BE uses present perfect, your example illustrates that perfectly.
    – anouk
    Jun 8, 2020 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


"Did you ever" would be better for something that you might have done in the past but wouldn't do now, like "Did you ever go to camp as a kid?", whereas "have you ever" implies that it's something that they may still be able to do now. Knowing the context, I agree that "have you ever" would make more sense.

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