I was writing a story for Wattpad, in which the two main characters spoke both Japanese and English, when I wanted one to say "You did no better than I". I looked it up in my dictionary, and I could not find the word 'did'. Another way to say that sentence would suffice, but I would appreciate how to say the word 'did' in Japanese.

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    I don't feel like "You did no better than I" can be translated using した...
    – Chocolate
    Jun 28 '17 at 1:34
  • agreed. can we get more context? we might be able to help with better phrasing given a bit more context
    – psosuna
    Jul 28 '17 at 17:42

The past tense of する (suru) would not show up in a dictionary as it is a conjugation of a verb. Conjugations typically do not show up in a dictionary. For that, you're better off consulting a textbook, to pick up verb conjugations as you learn the language.

That being said, the past tense conjugation, sometimes referred to as the た(ta)-form, for する (suru) is した (shita).

Also, for what it's worth, I'm not sure what tone your character is speaking in, but for formality's sake, there are separate conjugations for past tense depending on how polite you'd like to sound. した(shita) is standard, but for more polite, you might want to try しました(shimashita).

  • I'd like to hear how non-native learners are taught the past た. It seems to me a particle, though dictionaries say it's a helping verb. It conjugates! though Japanese conjugations are nothing to do with the tense, but only to do the connection to the next word.
    – karlalou
    Jul 28 '17 at 4:25
  • we can chat about my experience as a student sometime, if you have questions about that :) I imagine learning Japanese as a non-native, and the way we refer to things, is very different
    – psosuna
    Jul 28 '17 at 16:14

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