Please advise me on the correct usage of the words sleep and slept.

How was your night?

Did you slept well?

Is this sentence correct?

  • "Did" takes the infinitive sleep rather than the past tense slept; the notion of past is embedded in the form of the verb do used (did is past tense). It is conceivable that a person might say "Have you slept well?" but that wording is more likely to occur in a situation where the person being spoken to has just awakened. – Sven Yargs Dec 13 '15 at 6:44

Did is the past of do. Slept is the past/past participle of sleep. When there are two verbs in a sentence, (in this case, do and sleep), using past tense for both verbs is incorrect.

Since you have started your sentence with a past tense, i.e. Did, you have to ask

How was your night? Did you sleep well?

Or, if you want to further condense the above sentence,

Did you sleep well last night?


How was your night? Slept well?

In the above, slept indicates the past action(verb).


No, it's not correct.

What I suggest to my students is to observe the patterns that arise because did can never exist with the past tense form (in your example slept) of any verb in a sentence.

Look at this pattern for all verbs using your verb.

Q: Did you sleep well?

A1: Yes, I slept well.

A2: No, I didn't sleep well.

Notice that the presence of did eliminates the need for the past tense form.

Notice that only when being affirmative (i.e. saying, "yes") and not using did should you use the past tense form.

Notice also, that you could answer affirmatively with did, in which case you again would not use the past tense form.

A3: I did sleep well.

English, generally, does not like doubling. If a word has a quality (like being past tense, as did is, and signaling the past tense as did does) then it accomplishes that task for the whole sentence (generally).

  • What if i say do you slept well? – Taofeek Muraina Dec 13 '15 at 7:16
  • You can't. As soon as you say "do" you are committed to NOT using the past tense in any way. Always remember that "do" is a verb and "did" is it's past tense form. And consider that verb (do/did) to be a special, "super" verb. Your question here is very astute if this were math, but it's not. The value of the verb "do/did" in an English sentence is NOT equal to the value of other, more pedestrian verbs. – Jack Roy Dec 13 '15 at 10:05

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