Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Someone sent M a package. So, M didn't receive the package.

When I asked M, "Have you received the package?" What should her reply be?

"I don't receive the package", or "I didn't receive the package"?

Please explain why.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

She should say "I haven't received the package". This implies that there is still a possibility that the package will arrive later; unlike "didn't", which implies that the opportunity to receive the package has passed.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 this is the correct answer –  darryn.ten Jun 19 '12 at 9:33
    
It wouldn't matter much to me, since we don't have context. It's possibly compounded by the fact that I never have any idea when to expect packages around here. –  shinyspoongod Jun 19 '12 at 16:40
    
Splitting hairs. The question "Have you received the package?" itself is the moment in time which "has passed" –  horatio Jun 19 '12 at 21:35
    
The opportunity to have received the package has passed. –  David Schwartz Jun 20 '12 at 5:23
add comment

"I don't receive the package", or "I didn't receive the package"?

//Warning: not a native speaker

"I haven't received the package."

Please explain why.

Generally answer uses the same verb form as the question. At least textbooks teach English this way.

Q: Did you receive the package?
A: Yes, I did.

Q: Do you accept the package?
A: Yes, I do.

Q: Are you waiting for the package?
A: Yes, I am/yes, we are.

Q: Have you received the package?
A: No, I haven't.

It makes sense to follow this formula, unless want to abruptly change the topic of conversation or something like that.

share|improve this answer
    
"not a native speaker." If you are saying that "I didn't [...]" implies that the respondent is not a native speaker, then this assertion is wrong and unsupportable. –  horatio Jun 19 '12 at 21:41
    
Instead of giving examples, consider providing grammar rules. –  chuacw Jun 20 '12 at 3:48
    
nice explanation. –  Umesh Jun 20 '12 at 5:42
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.