Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2012
    • Posts: 34
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    when did you see / When have you seen

    Dear teachers

    "When did you see her?"
    "When have you seen her"?

    Does this expressions have the same meaning and can they both be used indifferently?

    Thanks

    Guillaume

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,278
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    Quote Originally Posted by paysage57 View Post
    Dear teachers

    "When did you see her?"
    "When have you seen her"?

    Do these sentences have the same meaning and can they both be used interchangeably?

    Thanks

    Guillaume
    No, they don't mean the same.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2012
    • Posts: 34
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    Thank you for your corrections.

    Well, if they don't mean the same I'm afraid I'm not sure to understand the difference, but I will try:

    "When did you see her": the person who is asking this question assumes that I saw the girl a long time ago (?)
    "When have you seen her": the person thinks that I've just seen her (?)

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    "When did you see her?" - At what point in the past (distant or recent) did you see her?
    This is the form we would normally expect.

    "Whan have you seen her?" -At what point(s) in your life has seeing her been part of your life experience?
    We might see this form in a conversation such as this:

    A: The Queen is very short when you see her close up.
    B: Oh, and when have you seen her close up?

    Last edited by 5jj; 04-Jul-2012 at 15:22. Reason: typos

  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2,426
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    "When did you see her?" - At what point in the past (distant or recent) did you see her?
    This is the form we would normally expect.

    "Whan have you seen her?" -At what point(s) in your life has seeing her been part of your life experience?
    We might see this form in a conversation such as this:

    A: The Queen is very short when you see her close up.
    B: Oh, and when have you seen her close up?

    Hello.
    Please allow me to ask a question here.

    Up until now I've had an idea that "when (as an interrogative adverb)" can't be used with the present perfect.
    And it is what I've taught to many Japanese students.

    How do you respond to the question "Oh, and when have you seen her close up?"
    Do you use the simple past? Or...is it possible to use the present perfect?

    P.S. I've just visited another forum. And the answer I've found there is... "When have you..." is possible when expressing doubt.
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 04-Jul-2012 at 18:15.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    P.S. I've just visited another forum. And the answer I've found there is... "When have you..." is possible when expressing doubt.
    Which a native speaker would recognise in my:

    A: The Queen is very short when you see her close up.
    B: Oh, and when have you seen her close up?
    I should have made that more explicit.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 1,507
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    Quote Originally Posted by paysage57 View Post
    Dear teachers

    "When did you see her?"
    "When have you seen her"?

    Does this expressions have the same meaning and can they both be used indifferently?

    Thanks

    Guillaume
    No, they are not interchangeable.

    In the first question, 'when' means specifically 'at which time in the past?', and implies expectation of an answer involving a definite past time adverbial such as 'last week/yesterday/in 1993', whereas in the second it means rather 'at what sort of time?', referring, not to a uniquely past time, but to a cyclically recurrent one (such as 'whenever the weather is good/in the spring, when the daffodils are out', etc.), i.e. one capable of occurring again at some point in the future.

    Thus, for example, the question "When have you been to London?" - in addition to possibly indicating doubt on the part of the speaker as to whether the addressee has ever actually performed the act in question - could quite legitimately elicit an answer such as "Every time I've had to take a party of sightseers to Buckingham Palace!", i.e. one naturally entailing the possibility that the speaker may well engage in this action again at some future time.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2012
    • Posts: 3
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    I think a secondary part of the answer is that "When have you seen her?" is very rarely used. I think a much more common and more clearly understandable example would be in a similar pair of "Where" questions:

    Where did you see her? (once, recently or long ago)
    Where have you seen her? (perhaps several times in the past, leading into the present, cyclically or randomly)

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2012
    • Posts: 3
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: when did you see / When have you seen

    I don't like my own answer above, because I thought of times when I would ask or be asked, "When have you seen her?" ... and my answer might be that I've seen her every Thursday evening at a certain coffee shop on my way home from work.... and the implication is that I may possibly see her again today on the way home from work.

    The formal textbook answer is this:

    did you see (or saw) = simple past tense; an action that was completed in the past.
    have you seen = present perfect tense; an action that happened in the past and may still be incomplete. It is expected that it can happen again.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •