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I want to ask my teacher if he checked the email/application which I sent him today. How can I ask him? What is actually the right way of asking it?

What I wrote is:

Did you check the application ?

Or it may be

Did you checked the application ?

and what when I ask him about response from head of department

Did they respond for my admission ?

or

Did they responded about my admission ?

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  • Check out this page on British Council website. "For all verbs except be and have we use do/does and did with the base form of the verb to make Yes/No questions for the present simple and past simple forms". So your Did you checked the application? and Did they responded about my admission? are ungrammatical. Some alternatives: "Have you received my application? I sent you an email yesterday." "What did he say?" or "Do you think I will be accepted?" Dec 13, 2014 at 15:37

1 Answer 1

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When you say do verb, the word do changes to indicate tense and number, and the other verb takes its infinitive form. So, these are correct:

Did you check the application?

Did they respond regarding my admission?

And these are ungrammatical:

Did you checked the application?

Did they responded regarding my admission?

By the way, it's the same in declarative statements, where you say do to add emphasis:

He checks the applications.

He does check the applications.

Does he check the applications?

Past tense:

He checked the application.

He did check the application.

Did he check the application?

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  • How about "Have you checked" and "Have they responded"? Don't you think they are even better than the past simple?
    – fluffy
    Dec 13, 2014 at 17:11
  • @fluffy Yes, I also think the perfect present is a little better than the simple past tense for these questions, although both are fine. I don't want to explain too many different things in the answer, though. Just getting used to the "meaningless 'do'" of English sounds like a major obstacle for someone learning English! It doesn't help that have takes the past participle where do takes the infinitive. It might be helpful to explain in a separate answer, though.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Dec 13, 2014 at 18:59
  • @BenKovitz thank you for the explanation , what actually i understand (and actually wants to know) is that we can not use second form with did like did he replied is wrong but did he reply is right , yes ?
    – ARG
    Mar 24, 2015 at 13:35
  • @ARG Yes. "Did he replied?" is incorrect. "Did he reply?" is correct.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Mar 25, 2015 at 5:59

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