did you <find / buy> everything?

Jezicar

Member
Serbia, Serbian
A question for British native speakers: Is The Past Simple Tense completely appropriate here?
Would it be correct if the mother asked: "Did you find everything" instead of "Did you buy everything?" Would a native English speaker say that?

Girl: Mum, I’m back from the shop!
Mother: Oh, good. Did you buy everything?
Girl: Well, almost. We bought all the vegetables – tomatoes, peppers and red onions, but we didn’t find all the fruit. We bought some apples and strawberries, but they didn’t have any cherries, I’m afraid.
Mother: Did you buy any sausages?
Girl: Yes, we did, about a kilo.
 
  • 0hisa2me

    Senior Member
    British English
    To my ears, 'Did you find / get everything?' sounds better than 'Did you buy everything?', since the mother is more interested in whether her daughter has all the food than whether she purchased it. If you say 'We bought', it sounds as if you are underlining the act of purchasing rather than acquiring (if this doesn't sound too odd to you).
     

    Jezicar

    Member
    Serbia, Serbian
    Thank you for your reply. I wasn't sure whether it was correct to use the verb 'find' in this context.
    So, would it also be ok then if the girl replied:"Well. almost. We found all the vegetables" instead of "We bought all the vegetables"?

    I was also wondering whether the Present Perfect Tense would be more appropriate here: "Have you found everything?, "We've found all the vegetables" and "Have you bought any sausages?"


    I know Americans tend to use The Past Simple more in these situations. That is why I wanted to hear what a British person would say about this.
     

    0hisa2me

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, 'find’ sounds fine.

    I don't think people would use the present perfect in this situation. If they were still in the shop or at the market then the mother could say 'Have you found everything?' but once her daughter is home and the shopping trip is definitely over, then the mother would say 'Did you find everything?'
     
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