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    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 4
    #1

    Never before have/had I seen...

    I'm in the cinema, the film starts and it's very good. I say to my friend:

    a) Never before have I seen such a good film
    b) Never before had I seen such a good film
    c) Both are correct

    Yesterday, I saw a very good film. Now, I'm talking to my friends:

    a) Never before have I seen such a good film
    b) Never before had I seen such a good film
    c) Both are correct

    Which one is correct in each case? I'm a bit confused.

    Thanks!

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: Never before have/had I seen...

    I'm in the cinema, the film starts and it's very good. I say to my friend:
    a) Never before [now] have I seen such a good film

    Yesterday, I saw a very good film. Now, I'm talking to my friends:
    b) Never before [then] had I seen such a good film.

  2. matilda
    Guest
    #3

    Talking Re: Never before have/had I seen...

    for the first one, you should use have. because it referes to present. but for the second sentence, because it referes to past, you'd better use had.


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 4
    #4

    Re: Never before have/had I seen...

    Thanks to both of you.

    That may seem simple, but actually is not that obvious to me because in my mother language, Spanish, we use option B) in both cases

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    #5

    Re: Never before have/had I seen...

    Quote Originally Posted by alcantara
    I'm in the cinema, the film starts and it's very good. I say to my friend:
    a) Never before have I seen such a good film
    b) Never before had I seen such a good film
    c) Both are correct
    Yesterday, I saw a very good film. Now, I'm talking to my friends:
    a) Never before have I seen such a good film
    b) Never before had I seen such a good film
    c) Both are correct
    Which one is correct in each case? I'm a bit confused.
    Thanks!


    I think there is more to this question than both Casiopea and Matilda have mentioned.The first difficulty stems from differenciating between an adverbial phrase or clause introduced by "before" and "before" as an adverb of frequency.
    I have never seen him before...(1)
    I had never seen him before the occasion that brought us together...(2)
    "before"in the first examples shows that,whether now or then,ever seeing that man is not known to history.However,"before" in the second example shows that "never seeing that man" happened only then(before they met) but now,I have seen him.
    Therefore,it is safe to conclude that any complex sentence that has an adverbial clause/phrase which is introduced by the "before" timer must always take the past form of "have/has...ie "had"
    To answer your question,in my opinion,I think both sentences should take "have"
    ..never before have I seen this type of film...I have never seen this type of film before.
    ...never before my visit to Ohio had I seen a film like this... I had never seen a film like this before I visted/before visiting Ohio....

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