did you borrow?

Peter SLP

Senior Member
Polish
Dear all,

I have watched episode 16 from 9 season of 'Friends'. I don't why they said these sentences in Past Simple.
I don't know why they didn't use "Have you written...? Has Monica borrowed.....?


"Chandler: Did you write a check to Monica for $2000? Did Monica borrow money from you?
Joey: Uh. Kind of.
Chandler: I can't believe her. Did she tell you we were having money problems?
Joey: Oh, no, no, no. It wasn't because of your money problems. It was for something for her.
Chandler: What?
Joey: Something personal. "
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Those questions sound entirely normal to me, Peter. Chandler is using "do" in the past simple in a way that is characteristic of AE speakers in their questions about what somebody did or has done. A special effort to use the present perfect in this dialog wouldn't sound normal.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The questions are about individual actions/events completed in the past. The simple past tense is appropriate for that.

    If they referred to things that had just now happened, then the present perfect might be appropriate. But there’s no indication that that’s the case.
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Excellent question, Peter! This happened years ago when we began adding the auxiliary verb "do" (did, etc) to form a question. It's still acceptable to say "Have you any matches?", but it's more common nowadays to say "Do you have any matches?" Indeed, an old nursery rhyme we still recite starts like this: "Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool?...."
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I'm with owlman and lingobingo here. Even in UK English (which maybe uses the perfect more commonly) the perfect feels odd here.

    Excellent question, Peter! This happened years ago when we began adding the auxiliary verb "do" (did, etc) to form a question. It's still acceptable to say "Have you any matches?", but it's more common nowadays to say "Do you have any matches?" Indeed, an old nursery rhyme we still recite starts like this: "Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool?...."
    I don't think this has anything to do with the question.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Maybe not, but I think it does. It is a question I am asked all the time by non-English speakers. It's difficult for them to understand it.
    The question is why the tense of the question is that of "Monica did write a check." vs "Monica has written a check." In "Have you any wool?", "have" is the actual verb "to possess", not a helping verb for "write."
     

    Peter SLP

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Those questions sound entirely normal to me, Peter. Chandler is using "do" in the past simple in a way that is characteristic of AE speakers in their questions about what somebody did or has done. A special effort to use the present perfect in this dialog wouldn't sound normal.
    Many thanks!

    I think that if Chandler wanted to use Pr. Perfect it would be a different situation- like " Has Monica ever borrowed money from you?"
    or "Has Monika borrowed money from you?" like just now. Correct me if I am wrong
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You are very welcome, Peter. Both of your latest examples look perfectly normal. In the second example, "did" with "just" would also be common: Did Monika just borrow money from you?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If I (a speaker of BE) wanted to know whether Monica had just borrowed some money, I'd ask: "Did Monica just borrow some money from you?" I wouldn't prefer the present perfect here; I'm talking about the finished act.

    If Monica spoke BE, she might say "I've just borrowed some money from him". The simple past is also possible.
     

    Peter SLP

    Senior Member
    Polish
    If I (a speaker of BE) wanted to know whether Monica had just borrowed some money, I'd ask: "Did Monica just borrow some money from you?" I wouldn't prefer the present perfect here; I'm talking about the finished act.

    If Monica spoke BE, she might say "I've just borrowed some money from him". The simple past is also possible.
    Yes, you are perfectly right~!
     
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