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I'm pretty confused on which sentence is grammatically correct just because online and in person, everyone says it differently:

How many hours did you spend studying for the test?

or is it:

How many hours did you spent studying for the test?

I know spent is the past but for some reason most people use "How many hours did you spend studying for the test?" Any insights?

closed as off-topic by DJClayworth, Elian, user140086, TimLymington, tchrist Nov 9 '15 at 17:25

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    The rule is that you only need one tense marker, and it goes on the first auxiliary verb, or on the main verb if there are no auxiliary verbs. Did is an auxiliary verb and it's got a past tense marker, so you can't say past tense spent after did; you hafta use the infinitive spend. – John Lawler Nov 8 '15 at 17:52
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The grammar books will tell you that these two are correct:

How many hours did you spend studying for the test?
AND
How many hours have you spent studying for the test?

But the cluster of consonants in the middle of How many hours did you spend studying for the test? makes it almost indistinguishable from: How many hours did you spent studying for the test? People write what they think they hear.

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