Saturday, 1 October 2011

Common mistakes (2)

As I have written articles dedicated mainly to beginner students, I would like to focus my attention towards mistakes that my advanced students also make.     
 The advanced students are at a level of knowledge that allows them to use the tenses in conversation but sometimes they make mistakes when they use The Past Tense Simple. They have the tendency to use The Past Tense Simple twice, in a negative or in an interrogative sentence.    
So they sometimes say: “I did not Knew him “, or “Did you understood?”
These sentences are not correct because the auxiliary verb To Do is already used In the Past (which is Did) so they do not have to also use the verb of the sentence in The Past, too. These mistakes derive from the fear that they might use the tense in the wrong way, so, in order to be sure that the sentence is correct they also use the verb in the past, due to the fact that in the affirmative sentences, the verb of the sentence is used in the past. They basically apply the rule of the tense for affirmative sentences which means that they know the tense but they lack practicing it.
The conclusion is that you should always say:”I did not know him”, or “Did you understand?” because in these sentences the auxiliary verb To Do is used in the Past Tense. So the sentences are correct.


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