What’s wrong with this sentence?

Where did you be yesterday?

These sorts of sentences have been bothering me for some time. Can someone explain to me why I cannot say sentences like one in the example?


It is possible that there is some variant of English that allows this - I don't know.

My intuition as a native speaker is that "to do" refers to an action. The verb "to be" does not describe an action, it describes a state of existence. "Being" is not something you can "do".

  • The writers of the Crossroads scripts famously gave Benny the phrase "do be" as part of his characterisation as a poorly educated simpleton. I assume that they took it from some knowledge of rural West Midlands dialect but which particular part of the West Midlands I'm not sure. Might be Herefordshire or Worcestershire. – BoldBen Nov 6 '20 at 2:13

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