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Hi Everyone,

I know the subject line is totally wrong, but I was thinking about it briefly.

For example,

"Had you thought" is correct.

So, why isn't "did you thought" correct?

I'm thinking that the first example, "had you thought" is just pure past perfect, in which case I know why we say this. However, I can't seem to work out why the second sentence is incorrect.

I know if I stare at it for an hour or so, the answer may jump out at me, but then again, it may not. Emotion: thinking


Thanks,

CC Emotion: smile

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The presence of the dummy auxiliary verb "did" dictates that the main verb must be a plain (infinitive) form, in this case "think". In your example, "thought" is a past participle form, so it cannot follow "did".

Note that perfect "had" though also an auxiliary verb, is not a dummy auxiliary, so it can take a past participle as complement to form the perfect construction.

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Cup cake I can't seem to work out why the second sentence is incorrect.

Tense only inflects once in a finite clause.

You think about it. Simple Present

Do you think about it? Simple Present

You thought about it. ~ Simple Past

Did you think about it? ~ Simple Past


In the perfect aspect, we already have an auxiliary (have/has/had), so we just invert the auxiliary and the subject to make the interrogative form, but in the simple aspect we get help of an auxiliary to do that.

You have thought about it. Present Perfect

Have you thought about it? Present Perfect

You had thought about it. Past Perfect

Had you thought about it? Past Perfect


So we cannot have such tense as "simple past past," can we?

Did you thought about it? Simple Past Past

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Comments  

Thanks, BillJ.

Yes, I already know this rule; my question is - why?

Thanks,
CC Emotion: smile

Cup cake

Thanks, BillJ.

Yes, I already know this rule; my question is - why?

Thanks,
CC

Because only a plain (infinitival) form can satisfy the complement requirements of the dummy auxiliary verb "did".

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Oh...Ok. Thanks heaps, BillJ.

Emotion: smile

 Persian Learner's reply was promoted to an answer.

Thank you, Persian Learner Emotion: smile

I've just done some research and looking at your example above - Did you think about it? - 'think' is the main verb, which is the real meaning of the sentence and 'did' is auxiliary. This makes sense.

Have a great night/day Emotion: smile

CC.

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Cup cake

I've just done some research and looking at your example above - Did you think about it? - 'think' is the main verb, which is the real meaning of the sentence and 'did' is auxiliary. This makes sense

Yes, but the crucial point is that this "did" is a dummy auxiliary verb that can only be followed by a plain (infinitive) form. Perfect "had" is also an auxiliary verb, but not a dummy one, and can be followed by a past participle.

Thanks, BillJ.
I've never heard about 'dummy' auxiliaries. Ok....something new to get my teeth into.

Cheers,
CC Emotion: smile