5

Which auxiliary verb should I put in a question like this and why?

Why didn't he make the decision?

Why hasn't he made the decision?

4

The two have different meanings, so either could be correct depending on the context and which decision is being referred to.

Why didn't he make the decision?

This suggests that the opportunity to make the decision has passed and that the choice is no longer of consequence. For example, in the sport of rugby, points can be scored either by kicking the ball between the posts (a 'drop kick') or placing the ball behind the posts (a 'try'). If a player hesitated in making a decision over which to do and lost the ball, then this would be correct.

Why hasn't he made the decision?

This suggests that the opportunity to make the decision has not passed and that it could still be made. For example, if a person is deciding which car to buy and there's still plenty of time left to choose, this would be correct.

1

It depends on the tense you want to use. With the first sentence, you are using the Simple Past, while with the second one you are using the Present Perfect.

With the first sentence, you are asking why he didn't make a decision. With the second sentence, you are asking why he didn't make a decision and why he still has to take a decision.

Which tense to use depends on the context.

Why didn't he make a decision when Paula asked him to decide? He didn't make a decision when Paula asked, but maybe he took a decision later.

Why hasn't he made a decision, since Paula returned from vacation? He still has to make a decision after Paula returned from vacation.

0

"Why didn't he make the decision?" indicates a time period in the past. "Why hasn't he made the decision?" indicates a time period in the (recent) past and also including the present. The "hasn't" version implies that the decision could still be made at any time. So "Why hasn't he made the decision yet?" means more or less the same thing as the plain "Why hasn't he made the decision?", while "Why didn't he make the decision yet?" sounds a little bit wrong/strange.

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