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Why is "I done it" wrong?

16 replies

SarahL2 · 22/05/2009 18:56

Here's one..

My MIL grew up in London and says "I done it" Now as far as I know (I'm from Yorkshire) it should be either "I did it" or "I have done it"

It's never been a huge deal except she has brought up my Dh to say "I done it" too and I don't want him saying this in front of DS (who is 2) as I do not want DS to grown up saying it too.

All the nieces and nephews who have been brought up by SIL's say "I done it" and it really grates on me cause I know it's wrong but I cannot explain why...

Can someone help me?

OP posts:
AnybodyHomeMcFly · 22/05/2009 19:04

You are right, it is wrong. Something to do with the perfect tense (completed action in the past) but I can't remember what. Will try to remember (you've got me wondering now too! )

MannyMoeAndJack · 22/05/2009 19:05

The 'I done it' seems to be a colloquialism that I've heard also used here in the south.

'I did it' is correct because 'did' is the past tense of the verb 'do'.

I think using, 'I done it' is when the word, 'done' is used (incorrectly) as an adjective (as in, 'It isn't done').

HecatesTwopenceworth · 22/05/2009 19:07

It gets you like fingernails down a blackboard, doesn't it?

I have no idea why - it just is! (you know how you just feel what's right and what's wrong) I read some argument about "past emphatic" - with a huge row about whether it was real, or just someone with too much time on their hands coming up with something to further complicate an already complicated language!

I'm no help at all, am I?
MannyMoeAndJack · 22/05/2009 19:07

should be, 'that I've also heard' !

katiestar · 22/05/2009 19:09

Is 'done' the past participle ? Which I think it needs a xxx verb to indicate tense. I have put XXX cos I can't remember name for this type of verb. You could use 'done' as in I have done it, I would have done it , I will have done it etc.

AnybodyHomeMcFly · 22/05/2009 19:11

Ok, I got my tenses slightly muddled there, apparently "I did it" is past simple and that is a completed action in the past which does not give any impression it will be repeated or continued.

"I have done it" is present perfect and refers to an action in the past which may or may not continue into the present.

The second answer on this page gives some good egs.

MannyMoeAndJack · 22/05/2009 19:13

Yes, 'done' in the OPs example is the past participle.

Hassled · 22/05/2009 19:14

"done" is not the past tense of the verb "to do" in that context. It is in the sense of "the deed is done" (which I'm sure has some grammatical name I don't know), and it is in the pluperfect tense as in "I had done the deed", but not in your bog standard (can you tell I'm no expert ) past tense.

I do, you do, he does, we do, they do.
I did, you did, he did, we did, they did.

Done doesn't feature.

But you would say "I have done it" - what's that tense called?

Hassled · 22/05/2009 19:15

present perfect - thank you!

AnybodyHomeMcFly · 22/05/2009 19:21

And "I had done it" is past perfect

katiestar · 22/05/2009 21:34

Is past perfect same as pluperfect ??

uberalice · 22/05/2009 21:47

katiestar, pluperfect is "I had done it", I think.

Hassled · 22/05/2009 21:48

Katiestar - you're right, I had to google it. Pluperfect seems to be associated with Latin and not much else. Everyone else says past perfect.

AnybodyHomeMcFly · 22/05/2009 21:56

Pluperfect in French as well

SarahL2 · 23/05/2009 09:05

Thanks everyone.

I knew it was wrong

OP posts:
Bucharest · 23/05/2009 09:10

Hassled- and the deed is done is passive.... we neither know or care who did the deed, the important thing is it is done!

3 easy rules for "present perfect" (these are the ones I use as examples with my students- maybe the OPs MIL could use them )

  1. action in past with no specified time (compare I have been to America with I went to America in 1985)

2. Started in past, continues now...(I have studied Italian for 10 yrs (and I still do) /I studied Italian for 10 yrs (and now I don't)
3. Present result of past action (I have cut my hair - you can see the results now)
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