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.

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 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.
    – user19589
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:40
  • Splitting hairs. The question "Have you received the package?" itself is the moment in time which "has passed"
    – horatio
    Jun 19, 2012 at 21:35
  • The opportunity to have received the package has passed. Jun 20, 2012 at 5:23

"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.

  • "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, 2012 at 21:41
  • Instead of giving examples, consider providing grammar rules.
    – chuacw
    Jun 20, 2012 at 3:48
  • nice explanation.
    – Umesh
    Jun 20, 2012 at 5:42

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.