How is it grammatically correct to say "Did you hear what I just said?"?. Is it also possible to say something as "Did you hear what i say?"?. I mean, that direct following the past simple grammar incline me to the second option, but I tend to use the first one by intuition, because two parts of the question look very "separate".

Could someone explain this on solid grounds? Thank you in advance!

  • Did you hear what I'm saying is idiomatic. English doesn't use the simple present for the same thing most languages use it for, so Did you hear what I say doesn't work. Apr 25, 2019 at 10:30
  • @PeterShor, thank you for a very clear explanation!
    – Maria
    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:44
  • @PeterShor And a one tiny additional question: " Did you hear what I'm saying" and "Do you hear what I'm saying" , aren't they both correct and have almost the same meaning?
    – Maria
    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


Like so much of English, what you say here is determined not strictly by grammar but by idiom and usage.

Did you hear what I just said? is idiomatic, and depending on tone of voice could be made to sound perfectly polite. But it has the potential to be brusque and offensive, if said without care.

Did you hear what I say? is neither grammatical, nor idiomatic. But you could say Do you hear what I say?, but this will almost always sound impolite.

Both of the above could carry the implication that the person was not listening when they should have been.

If you are genuinely concerned as to whether someone heard you or not, more politely you might say Could you hear me just now?, or even Could you hear what I said just now?

If your concerns are wider than this, involving use of different tenses in the same sentence - please elaborate. But there are many previous questions on the site about that.

  • 1
    Could you hear me just now? seems much more idiomatic than Could you hear what I said just now? Apr 25, 2019 at 10:31
  • @PeterShor Yes, thank you for pointing that out. I will amend.
    – WS2
    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:34
  • Thank you very much for the detailed answer! I was a bit confused by the usage of tenses here, but I hope that now I got the point. I saw a few similar questions here but didn't manage to find exactly the same, I would look more attentively the next time.
    – Maria
    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:55

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