Did what she tell you implicate someone else?

Lourpv

Senior Member
Spain, Catalan and Spanish
I'm reading a book and I found this sentence. I suspect it's not correct but I must be wrong since it's written by a famous American writer. I'd like to have your opinion.
--"Did what she tell you implicate someone else?" asked Eddie.--

Shouldn't it be "told" instead of "tell"?
"implicate" is the main verb. "Did it implicate?"
it = what she told you

Thanks :)
 
  • belén

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    Hello,
    As I see it, from the moment the auxiliary "did" appears on the sentence, the verb can be in the infinitive form.

    But let's wait for more opinions, of course.

    By the way, welcome to the forums.

    I'll change the title of your question to a sentence related to the question being asked. Please be so kind to do the same in your future messages.

    Thanks,
    Belén
     

    Seba W.

    Senior Member
    Thailand Argentina Spanish
    Greetings!

    “‘Did what she tell you implicate someone else?’, asked Eddie”

    I think the sentence is just fine.

    Did affects “tell”, not “implicate”.

    You could still say:
    “Did what she tell you implicated someone else?",

    a subtle difference in connotation. Perhaps in that those implicated in the past might not be really implicated now.

    But since it is likely that whoever “she implicated” in the past are still implicated now (what she told still implicates people now), the verb was then chosen in the present here, I think.

    Not completely sure why it shouldn’t be “implicates” though, but maybe is one of those cases where the subjunctive shows up in English… Like in the correct, “I recommend that she study…” instead of “she studies.

    I’d waited from other answers from native English speakers. Good luck!

    Cheers!
     

    Seba W.

    Senior Member
    Thailand Argentina Spanish
    Sorry!! I was wrong! Forget about what I said before and sorry about it…

    “‘Did what she tell you implicate someone else?’, asked Eddie”

    It actually means (I think now):
    “Did THAT implicate someone else?”, so the “did” does affect “implicate” directly.

    Now, I have no idea why it shouldn’t be “told” instead of “tell”… And worst, I’d really like to know now!

    Sorry again!
     

    jdenson

    Senior Member
    USA / English
    Sorry!! I was wrong! Forget about what I said before and sorry about it…

    “‘Did what she tell you implicate someone else?’, asked Eddie”

    It actually means (I think now):
    “Did THAT implicate someone else?”, so the “did” does affect “implicate” directly.

    Now, I have no idea why it shouldn’t be “told” instead of “tell”… And worst, I’d really like to know now!

    Sorry again!
    The writer may be famous, but he's wrong, wrong, wrong.
    The verb "tell" in the third person singular is "tells" in the present tense (she tells), and "told" in the past tense (she told). It cannot be "tell".
    "Did what she told you implicate someone else?" is the only correct form.
    JD
     

    Lourpv

    Senior Member
    Spain, Catalan and Spanish
    Thank you so much!!! :)

    thanks Seba W.!

    jdenson, I loved your explanation. That's exactly what I thought.
     

    Seba W.

    Senior Member
    Thailand Argentina Spanish
    Yep,

    I think I’ve made a fool of myself with that post.

    I’m sure you’re right, jdenson, it was wrong after all… A google search does confirm this too.
    Don’t know why I’d made up my mind it had to be right! (Don’t people ever say it though, I wonder…?).

    Cheers!
     

    fsm

    Member
    English (England)
    I would imagine that it was written a long time ago and that that was correct back then - it certainly isn't now.
    Or it could be that many americans, even famous writers, just have appauling grammar. That's not wild speculation, it certainly seems that way on family guy...
     
    I recognize this is an extremely dated topic, but I must defend the (admittedly declining) population of America that has struggled to maintain the conventions of the English language. We ARE out there, I promise. And yes, "tell" in place of "told" sounds quite jarring to me.

    However, many American authors have sought to portray dialectical varieties of the language in writing. Especially popular is this treatment of "southern" dialects, or of so-called "African American Vernacular English" (more popularly known as Ebonics). For those unfamiliar with this, it's extremely prominent in the works of Mark Twain, or in the popular novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Common features of these variants include unconventional conjugation of verbs, misuse of verb forms, or the outright blending of tenses as one sees fit (as in this example). These features, though undeniably rampant in some areas, are far from the accepted norms of the English Language. If you determine this book to be one of the aforementioned nature, I strongly discourage its use as a resource for learning English.

    (I might add, however, that this device was utilized with magnificent results in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. FANTASTIC READ. But definitely not for those learning English, either =])
     

    HallePuppy

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Para agregar una opinión más...a mí simplemente me parece una errata.
    Oops, oops, oops! Apparently "implicate" is somewhat of an English/Spanish false cognate, which does not mean 'tell.' Here's the definition from two good dictionaries:

    implicate
    im·pli·cate (mpl-kt)
    tr.v. im·pli·cat·ed, im·pli·cat·ing, im·pli·cates
    1. To involve or connect intimately or incriminatingly: evidence that implicates others in the plot.
    2. To have as a consequence or necessary circumstance; imply or entail: His evasiveness implicated complicity.
    3. Linguistics To convey, imply, or suggest by implicature.
    4. Archaic To interweave or entangle; entwine.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/implicate
    im·pli·cate transitive verb \ˈim-plə-ˌkāt\

    : to show that someone or something is closely connected to or involved in something (such as a crime)

    I know this is an old thread, but maybe this will help if someone should be looking for the word.
     

    jimfenton

    New Member
    English
    “‘Did what she tell you implicate someone else?’, asked Eddie”

    I think the sentence is just fine.
    I think this sentence is also just fine - it has no errors and is correct English (regardless of the century). Why? Because English requires the use of the auxiliary verb do/did to make a question. This sentence is a question, therefore we need the past tense of do to show that the action (telling something) occurred in the past. We cannot say 'What she told you implicate someone else? - because that's not how to make an English question. It could be a statement if we changed the tense of implicate - but the sentence would have a different meaning - and wouldn't pose a question: What she told you implicated someone else.
    So old thread, but the question is correctly formulated, told would be inappropriate in this case.
     

    Agró

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Navarre
    No, it's not.
    Auxiliary + subject + bare infinitive + ?

    Aux.: Did
    Subject: what she tell you:eek:
    Infinitive: implicate

    What she tell you is incorrect. It's either what she told you or what she tells you or what she's telling you, etc.
     

    jimfenton

    New Member
    English
    The writer may be famous, but he's wrong, wrong, wrong.
    The verb "tell" in the third person singular is "tells" in the present tense (she tells), and "told" in the past tense (she told). It cannot be "tell".
    "Did what she told you implicate someone else?" is the only correct form.
    JD
    This is awfully wrong headed! Did tell is correct - its the emphatic form of the past tense and used to form questions about the past. For example, we would never pose a question such as: Did you went...? because /went/ is the simple past tense, and we don't use the simple past tense to construct questions like this one. Instead we would say: Did you go - is the correct formulation to make a question.
    No, it's not.
    Auxiliary + subject + bare infinitive + ?

    Aux.: Did
    Subject: what she tell you:eek:
    Infinitive: implicate

    What she tell you is incorrect. It's either what she told you or what she tells you or what she's telling you, etc.
    The sentence in questions isn't 'What she tell you', which is incorrect as you correctly state, but 'Did what she tell you' and that is a correct construction of an English question.
    Your suggestions seem not to be useful for creating a correct question using the format in the quoted texts:
    Did what she told you...?.= incorrect because did and told are not used together - I did tell you, but not I did told you.
    Did what she tells you...? = incorrect because did and tells are not used together - I did tell you, but not, I did tells you
    Did what she is telling you ...? = incorrect because we wouldn't use did...is...telling - since Did signifies past tense, and is telling is present progressive/continuous.
     

    Agró

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Navarre
    The sentence in questions isn't 'What she tell you', which is incorrect as you correctly state, but 'Did what she tell you' and that is a correct construction of an English question.
    What's happened with "implicate", which is the main verb in the sentence?
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    'What she tell you' cannot be correct in my opinion.
    Did [what she tell you] implicate.....?
    Change it slightly to read 'Did [that information that she tell you] implicate....? and it is plainly wrong.
    Did [that information that she told you - in the past] implicate....? :tick:
     

    jimfenton

    New Member
    English
    Agró, you're really making me think! I was focused on the question posed with respect to did/tell, not on 'implicate' but I see the problem with implicate. I still believe the sentence to be correct so my explanation for its grammatical construction is that both 'tell' and 'implicate' are controlled by the auxiliary verb 'did,' otherwise implicate would appear to be incorrect since it would be present tense in any person except the 3rd person (which it has to be unless we're dealing with the past tense - which I think we are).
    My best guess is as follows. The sentence has two clauses, with 'Did what she tell you' being the dependent clause which forms the subject of the independent clause: [subject] [did] implicate someone else. The second [did] is omitted so as not to be repetitive. We see this elision elsewhere, for example 'Did she come and go? where 'did' controls both 'come' and 'go'.
    English is way too complicated!
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    I can't believe that a native English-speaker can defend "Did what she tell you....?". Agró explained perfectly well why it's wrong in post #13.
     

    pismo

    Senior Member
    English -- USA
    Very interesting discussion. However, I think you can justify the use of the present progressive here.

    "Did what she is telling you implicate someone else?" In other words, someone told her something and continues to tell her that thing.

    It sounds a little awkward, but I believe it's perfectly correct. Perhaps that's what the author intended, but since the OP is 10 years old, we may never know.
     
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