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Could someone please explain why the bold part is in "simple past"?

You asked where did I live in Carstairs. Well, it was not anyplace to be proud of. If you know where Vinegar Hill is and you turned off on Flowers Road it is the last house on the right, yellow paint once upon a time. My father grows potatoes, or did. I used to take them around town with my wagon, and every load I sold got a nickel to keep.

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The character who 'writes' this passage is a young soldier in the Canadian Army with little education. Writing to the town librarian, whom he regards as an "educated person", he makes a strenuous effort to sound better educated than he is, but he frequently trips up. The past tense here is an instance of that—he jumps in and out of present and past in his narrative, and here he gets mixed up.

Note that there are three other little slips in formal usage in this passage:

You asked where did I live ...

... you turned off on Flowers Road it is the last house on the right ...

... every load I sold got a nickel to keep.

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  • Thank you very much for your detailed answer. So the corrected version would be: "You asked where do I live ... you turn off..." Would you please show me what is wrong in last sentence? Should it be like this : "And with every load I sold, I got a nickel to keep."
    – user3214
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 20:10
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    @GATA You're mostly right, but "You asked where I live..." Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 20:46
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    @GATA: Or "You asked where I lived" (depending on whether the actual question at the time was "Where do you live" or "Where did you live"). I suspect the latter, which is why our letter-writer used You asked where did I live when he converted it to reported speech (which incidentally I at least don't consider to be a "slip" from correct formal usage, though obviously opinions may differ on fine points like this). Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 22:34

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