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What do you think about this sentence?

Do you have bought the lesson book?

Is that a correct usage of "Do you have bought"? Or should I say "Did you buy"?

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You first example is not valid English. "Did you buy" is valid, but maybe not ideal in context. Assuming it's a teacher who expects/wants his pupil to purchase the book, he'd probably say "Have you bought". This carries more of an implied "...yet?" following. Of course, he's much more likely to say "Have you brought the book", because he probably doesn't care whether the pupil paid for it or not - only that the pupil should have a copy so he can pursue his studies properly. –  FumbleFingers Sep 17 '11 at 16:18
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It's perhaps worth saying that American English tends to use the past tense in questions of this kind where British English use the perfect. –  Barrie England Sep 17 '11 at 17:06
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It does? I certainly don't. –  Peter Shor Sep 17 '11 at 17:09
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In ‘The Cambridge Guide to English Usage’, Pam Peters gives these examples: ‘We already gave him a response.’ (American) ‘We have already given him a response.’ (British) –  Barrie England Sep 17 '11 at 19:40
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@Barrie: In answers of that kind, I believe Pam Peters is correct: Americans would tend to use the past. In questions like the O.P.'s, I believe Americans would tend to use the present perfect. –  Peter Shor Sep 17 '11 at 20:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As written, your sentence is not grammatically correct. In order to use the Present Perfect, you should say:

Have you bought the lesson book?

You are trying to ask if someone has bought the book, so the verb "to buy" needs to be in the right tense. You could also write,

You have bought the lesson book?

But starting the sentence with "have" is a valid use of inversion in English, which denotes a question. "Do" does not add anything to the sentence, and is not part of the present perfect tense.


Now, should you use the Present Perfect here? You definitely can, because present perfect can denote the concept of unspecified time. You are not sure when or even if the person bought the book, so you are trying to figure that out by asking "have you..."

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