Usage of "did"

I read a sentence, "How badly did he needed that", in a sports commentary article.

Is this sentence correct?

Or it should be, "How badly did he need that?"

  • 1
    You are correct, "did needed" is an error.
    – randomhead
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


"How badly did he need that?" is correct. The other is incorrect.

Generally in question sentences, the auxiliary verb comes in front of the subject and takes the tense, and the main verb changes to "base form"/"bare infinitive".

In your example, the main verb is "need", the auxiliary verb is "do" and the tense is simple past, so it must read, "*How badly did he need that?"

And more generally, clauses can only have one verb with tense. Both "did" and "needed" are in the past tense, so "How badly did he needed that?", which has two simple past verbs, is a mistake.

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