1

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

9

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.

3
  • 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
2

"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.

3
  • "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

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