I looked at a girl and gave her a smile. My friend next to me has put a serious look on his face and is staring at me. I turn to my friend and figured that I"d say one of these two versions, but I don’t know which.

You are watching: I didn t do anything wrong

I didn’t do anything.I haven’t done anything.

Which of those is better and when? Is either one actually wrong, or do they mean different things?

What about these others:

I’ve done nothing.I did nothing.

Or even these:

I wasn’t doing anything.I was doing nothing.
negation present-perfect-vs-simple-past do-support negative-polarity-items
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edited Feb 10 "18 at 18:36
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tchrist♦
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asked Mar 6 "15 at 3:39
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Acti have Oldesns Votes
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One way to compare subtlely similar phrases is to look at a scenario where only one of them makes sense, as in:

I haven"t been doing anything. (OK) I didn"t doing anything. (WRONG) I wasn"t doing anything. (OK)

So clearly "haven"t" can be used for ongoing action whereas "didn"t" cannot.

Apart from that, they are usually best used to match the question:

What have you done? I haven"t done anything. What did you do? I didn"t do anything.

In answer to your question, if you were responding to a non-verbal cue, I would say either is as good as the other.


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answered Mar 6 "15 at 4:07
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aaa90210aaa90210
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Neither is wrong. They"re both negatives, but of different tenses, so one is the negative of "I did" the simple past tense and the other is the negative of "I have done", the past perfect tense.

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answered Mar 6 "15 at 4:37
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