In a movie, I'm watching, one of the detectives investigating a case of a missing woman(Amy) says to one of his co-workers: "Amy's medical records come in?" and she receives a reply: "No, well have them later tonight"

one of the definitions in TFD for "come in" is: 1. Arrive, become available for use or begin to produce, as in Has the new fall line come in yet? or The latest reports are coming in now, or This well has just begun to come in.

But I'm confused as to why is the verb "come" used in the Infinitive form here.(or maybe it's past participle?)This sentence would make perfect sense to me if it was" Did Amy's medical records come in?".Is it the same meaning?

  • 2
    It should properly be "Did Amy's..." or "Have Amy's...", but in informal speech I think it's OK. It's clear what he's talking about. Dropped words in spoken English is not unusual at all.
    – user3169
    Sep 4, 2021 at 21:50
  • @user3169 that should be an answer.
    – randomhead
    Sep 4, 2021 at 21:57
  • No, we ' ll have them later tonight... note the apostrophe
    – James K
    Sep 4, 2021 at 22:36

2 Answers 2


The first sentence would be understood by me as "Have Amy's records come in?" (with "come being the past participle") Though it could equally logically be "Did Amy's records come in?" (with come being the infinitive).

There is no real way to tell, and the meaning is so close that the speaker would probably not be consciously aware of whether this is a past tense or present perfect question.

This kind of dropping is fine in spoken English, but not normally done in written English.


As James has explained, we don't know whether the speaker meant 'Did Amy's records come in [infinitive]?' or 'Have Amy's records come in [past participle]?' and it probably doesn't matter.

We can compare 'Amy's father rung?', which can only be 'Has Amy's father rung?' and 'Amy's father ring?', which can only be 'Did Amy's father ring?'.

('Amy's father's rang?' is also possible, but feels very different, and is probably a surprised echo question: A: Did anything happen while I was out? B: Amy's father rang. A: (surprised) Amy's father rang? I thought he was trekking in the Himalayas.)

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