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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 8
    #1

    I have never seen a tiger.

    Hi!

    I'd like to know the exact meaning of the A sentence.
    Does the A sentence mean the same as B?

    A: I never saw a tiger.
    B: I have never seen a tiger.

    Thank you very much in advance! ^^


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #2

    Re: I have never seen a tiger.

    Quote Originally Posted by brightsun17 View Post
    Hi!

    I'd like to know the exact meaning of the A sentence.
    Does the A sentence mean the same as B?

    A: I never saw a tiger.
    B: I have never seen a tiger.

    Thank you very much in advance! ^^
    There's no way to distinguish between them when they are without a context, such as they appear here.

    In practice, embedded in their context, it might easily occur that one was preferable to the other.

    The sentences remind me of this:
    Purple Cow
    I never saw a purple cow;
    I never hope to see one;
    but I can tell you anyhow;
    I'd rather see than be one!
    ~ Gelett Burgess (1895)


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 394
    #3

    Re: I have never seen a tiger.

    One example of the "missing context" Ann is talking about might be a situation like this:

    A: I heard they had some new tigers at the zoo, so I went yesterday. I looked all over, but I didn't see them.
    B: You mean you didn't see a single tiger?
    A: Nope. I looked all over, but I never saw a tiger.


    In other words, the reference could be to a specific event in the past. Use of the present perfect would be inappropriate in this context.

    On the other hand:

    A: Have you ever seen a tiger?
    B: No, I haven't. I have never seen a tiger.


    Here, the present perfect question using ever emphasizes that speaker A wants to know if B has seen a tiger at any point in time, from the indefinite past up until the present. Now the present perfect version is required, and the past tense version would be inappropriate.

    Hope this helps.

    Greg


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #4

    Re: I have never seen a tiger.

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post
    One example of the "missing context" Ann is talking about might be a situation like this:

    A: I heard they had some new tigers at the zoo, so I went yesterday. I looked all over, but I didn't see them.
    B: You mean you didn't see a single tiger?
    A: Nope. I looked all over, but I never saw a tiger.


    In other words, the reference could be to a specific event in the past. Use of the present perfect would be inappropriate in this context.

    On the other hand:

    A: Have you ever seen a tiger?
    B: No, I haven't. I have never seen a tiger.


    Here, the present perfect question using ever emphasizes that speaker A wants to know if B has seen a tiger at any point in time, from the indefinite past up until the present. Now the present perfect version is required, and the past tense version would be inappropriate.

    Hope this helps.

    Greg
    Those are perfect and precise uses of each verb tense.

    Yet notice that the meaning doesn't change when I mess with the tense here

    (original version)
    I never saw a moor,
    I never saw the sea;
    Yet know I how the heather looks,
    And what a wave must be.
    - Emily Dickinson

    (altered version)
    I've never seen a moor,
    I've never seen the sea;
    Yet know I how the heather looks,
    And what a wave must be.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 8
    #5

    Re: I have never seen a tiger.

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post
    One example of the "missing context" Ann is talking about might be a situation like this:

    A: I heard they had some new tigers at the zoo, so I went yesterday. I looked all over, but I didn't see them.
    B: You mean you didn't see a single tiger?
    A: Nope. I looked all over, but I never saw a tiger.

    In other words, the reference could be to a specific event in the past. Use of the present perfect would be inappropriate in this context.

    On the other hand:

    A: Have you ever seen a tiger?
    B: No, I haven't. I have never seen a tiger.

    Here, the present perfect question using ever emphasizes that speaker A wants to know if B has seen a tiger at any point in time, from the indefinite past up until the present. Now the present perfect version is required, and the past tense version would be inappropriate.

    Hope this helps.

    Greg
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Thank you so much, Dragn! ^^
    As an English teacher in middle school
    I had known about the present perfect and the past sentences like you.
    Then the following dialogue is in my English text book for my students.
    --------
    A: Who's that in the picture?
    B: That's Martin Luther King, Jr. Can't you recognize him?
    A: Of course, I've heard of him. I just never saw his picture.
    B: It's terrible that he was murdered, isn't it?
    -------------------
    I thought the underlined sentence is wrong and
    it should be changed to 'I have never seen his picture.' in this context.

    I am just a teacher who knows only English grammar much better than speaking and writing.
    Sometimes I don't have confidence of my grammar knowledge because English is not my mother tongue.

    So I needed native speakers' help.

    The underlined sentence is right? Am I right?

    I appreciate your help so much. ^^

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