In the dictionary, we have

how dare you, etc.

​used to show that you are angry about something that somebody has done

How dare you talk to me like that?

How dare she imply that I was lying?

It seems that "How dare you + verb" is used for present actions

Can we use it for past action?

For example, can we say "How dare you did that to me yesterday?"?

But that seems wrong because the verb "did".

We can say "How did you dare to do that to me?" but I am not sure if it is idiomatic to say so.

Do we have a better way to say it?

1 Answer 1


No, we can't say how dare you did that? because dare is the present tense.

How did/could you dare to do that? is possible, but How dared you? is more idiomatic. See this.

There is also an archaic past tense, durst, but not many people would recognise that today.

  • 1
    I durst not comment, save to say that I think we can use a present tense verb after 'how dare...' even if the act is well in the past. My father sold my guitar in 1972. How dare he do that! How dare you eat my supper last night! Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 14:10
  • Durst! I love it, Kate. It’s not a form we run into often these days. Let’s launch a campaign to resurrect it. Commented May 5 at 11:42
  • 1
    @MichaelHarvey, it’s not the present tense that’s being used after how dare X. The only verb that’s conjugated in such sentences is dare. After all, we say, “How dare you be so impertinent?” Not, *”How dare you are so impertinent?” Commented May 5 at 11:46

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