What did you do last weekend?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Blade Runner, May 10, 2008.

  1. Blade Runner

    Blade Runner Senior Member

    València, European Union
    Catalan (València) & Spanish (Spain)
    It's Monday morning and I meet a workmate and ask him:

    "what did you do last weekend?"

    Does it sound right? or should I rather say "What have you done this/last weekend?":confused:

    Is there any usage difference in UK / US English?:confused::confused:

    Thanks in advance:D
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    In US English, "What did you do last weekend?" is a perfectly normal question. "What did you do over the weekend?" is also common. I suspect it's the same for UK English, but I won't speak for BE. :)
     
  3. Gordonedi

    Gordonedi Senior Member

    Strathaven
    UK (Scotland) English
    On a Monday morning, I would ask a workmate "what did you do at the weekend ?".

    Last weekend would refer to seven days before. On Monday morning, the weekend would be understood to be the two days just ended.

    I am sure that there will be a thread or two in this forum covering such references and their differences between the US and UK. Anyone care to provide links ?
     
  4. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    Egypt
    Arabic,Egypt
    I think the question is focusing on either is it did you do or have you done !
     
  5. bluenose Junior Member

    Madrid
    English UK
    "What did you do" because it is a finished action/time. "this weekend / at the weekend / over the weekend.
    You would only use last weekend if it was the following Saturday or Sunday.

    I think thats right!!
     
  6. blue_jewel

    blue_jewel Senior Member

    Philippines
    Filipino/Tagalog

    I agree.
     
  7. bluenose Junior Member

    Madrid
    English UK
    Ok, "What did you do" because it is a finished action/time, not have you done because its a finished action time.
     
  8. Blade Runner

    Blade Runner Senior Member

    València, European Union
    Catalan (València) & Spanish (Spain)
    Thanks everybody, I've got it now.:thumbsup:
     
  9. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    Egypt
    Arabic,Egypt
    So, you mean that simple past tense is used for finished action or time ,what about the present perfect tense??

    I heard that Americans don't use the present perfect tense, do they ?
     
  10. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    That is a gross over-generalization. We tend to use simple past sometimes in places where a British English speaker would more often choose present perfect, but the present perfect is alive and well in American English. :)
     
  11. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    Egypt
    Arabic,Egypt
    So, when do you use it ??
     
  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    The question is too broad to allow for a simple answer. There are many threads related to this on the forum. I recommend you browse through a few of them to get a sense of the slight differences in usage. You may find many of them by typing "present perfect" in the Dictionary Look-up at the top of the page. Although the dictionary does not have an entry for present perfect, it will show you a list of prior threads with "present perfect". You can click on them and read up on the subject.

    Here is a typical thread to get you started:

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=84891
     

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