Tuesday, August 21, 2012

saw/seen: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In standard English, it’s “I’ve seen” not “I’ve saw.” The helping verb “have” (abbreviated here to “’ve”) requires “seen.” Any time you use a helping verb to introduce it, the word you need is “seen”: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

In the simple past (no helping verb), the expression is “I saw,” not “I seen.” “I’ve seen a lot of ugly cars, but when I saw that old beat-up Rambler I couldn’t believe my eyes.” Or “I saw the game on TV.”

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