Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9842432:


Old habits die hard 10 9, 3:44pm

@Eldkatten I often wonder about that too. I think it's because Japanese people sometimes get confused over the presence of two verbs. "Do" is an auxiliary verb, but it's also a verb in its own right. The same question in Japanese "Did he go there?" would translate as, "Asoko ni ikimashita ka?" (or "Asoko ni ikimashita?" - with a strong rising inflection at the end, otherwise it becomes a statement - "Asoko ni itta no?" "Asoko ni itta?"...there are more, but it basically depends on who you're talking to as to which level of politeness you use.)

Anyway, the point is that there is only one verb in that question: "ikimashita/itta" which is the past tense of "iku" - to go. Since that's definitely in the past tense in Japanese, I think many Japanese believe that it needs to be in the past tense in English too. It also gets a little more confusing as Japanese has auxiliary verbs, but they're used more as conjugations. Specifically, conjugations that go at the end of the verb, and can be mixed and matched (eg: "taberu" means "to eat" but "tabesaseraremasendeshita" = taberu + causative (saseru) + passive (rareru) + polite negative (masen) + polite past tense (deshita)=fun tongue twister for Japanese language students that means "was not forced to eat.") :P