I don't know how to use did+present tense OR past tense

Did sarah go to the party this Thursday?
Did sarah went to the party this Thursday?

Where had you been?
Where have you been?

  • 1
    Welcome to ELL! You must realize that the sentence pairs you ask the grammaticality of are two different fields of argument. It's better to do a study on perfect and past.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


Do employed as an auxiliary always requires the infinitive form of the following verb, not a tensed form.

This can be difficult to detect because the only English verb whose infinitive form is distinguishable from its 'plain' present-tense form is be, and in practice there are very few occasions for using do be. But consider:

Don't be such a jerk.
Have a nice trip! And do be careful.

Both have been and had been are valid English constructions; which you employ (if either) will depend on context. This has been addressed here on many occasions; you may consult questions tagged , and [perfect-constructions], or the canonical post What is the perfect, and how should I use it?.


The correct version is 'Did sarah go to the party'? (NOT : Did sarah went..?)

In simple past tense, we must use past verbs (such as went,saw,etc..) only when we express a positive statement.

E.g: 1.sarah went to the party.

But when we express a negative statement or when we ask questions (positive or negative) about the past, we must use present verbs.(NOT: past verbs). for example,

  1. Did sarah go to the party?
  2. Sarah didn't go to the party.
  3. Didn't sarah go to the party?

Your second examples (*Where had you been? and Where have you been?) are not simple past sentences. They're past perfect and present perfect respectively. In past perfect tense, we use Had + subj. + Past participle? , and in present perfect, we use Has/have + subj. + Past participle? verb. So the verb been in your example is not a past verb. It's the Past participle of 'be'.

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