I read this explanation about did from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/did-main-verb-base-form-or-past-tense-form . Does that mean all the verb after did in a question will remain as it is?

Example like : What did your sister use to dig the sand?

We have two verbs here and we don't have to change them to tense word?

  • 1
    I see this is your first post in english.stackexchange.com. Welcome! I just wondered if you were aware that there's a separate stackexchange site for learners. ell.stackexchange.com This may be a better place to post this question. Oct 21, 2018 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


You are largely correct. The verb 'do' is an auxiliary/helping verb. Any verb that comes after it remains in the infinitive form, meaning that it is unconjugated.

What did your sister use to dig the sand?

Here, the verb 'did' is the conjugated auxiliary verb, so you need not conjugate 'use' any further. However, the reason you do not conjugate 'dig' here is because it is part of the to-infinitive.

  • Based on your explanation of 'dig' sounds like in some cases we need to conjugate some verb. If yes, can you give an example?
    – Eaten Taik
    Oct 21, 2018 at 13:12
  • Is it something like "He did not have time to do his homework because he was busy with his part time job."
    – Eaten Taik
    Oct 21, 2018 at 13:40
  • It depends on where the verb 'dig' is positioned. One conjugates 'dig' when one talks about the action in the past like this: 'She dug a hole yesterday'. But when one says, 'Did she dig a hole yesterday?' or 'She did dig a hole yesterday', the verb 'dig' follows the conjugated auxiliary verb 'did' and remains in the infinitive form.
    – Nick
    Oct 21, 2018 at 13:43
  • 'He did not have time to do his homework because he was busy with his part time job' -- correct. But in this case, the verb 'was' does not really follow the auxiliary verb because it belongs essentially to another sentence. Here, you are joining two sentences. 'He did not have time to do his homework' and 'he was busy with this part-time job'.
    – Nick
    Oct 21, 2018 at 13:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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