"Did + Infinitive" vs "The Past Simple"

by Danielle Barazin
(Andorf Austria)

When do you write “did + the infinitive” or simply “the past simple”.

-1- He did repair his car.

-2- He repaired his car.

Thanks a lot,
Hi Danielle,

This is really a grammar question...not a wish regarding material or content for the site. BUT I have a spare minute and I can explain this one quickly. :)

Basically, in the first sentence -1- you are confirming that the action has been done, where as in -2- you are merely (only) stating what was done.

Imagine that I ask you,

"Did you study for the exam?"

and you answer

"yes, I studied for 5 hours last night".

Now, imagine that I do not believe you.

"No you didn't. You didn't study at all, did you?"

and you reply,

"Yes I did study!"

In your first answer you are just stating what you did in the past...
(I studied) and in the second example (I did study) you are confirming the action was done.

I hope that helps Danielle.


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