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  1. #1
    Arnold99 is offline Newbie
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    I had seen vs I saw

    That was the first time in my life ................. Donald Trump , and the last, I suspect.
    That was the first time in my life ................. the Queen in flesh.

    In both cases I used 'I saw'. What's the difference between them? Which one is correct in each case?

    P.S I have more questions and I wouldn't want to spam the forums with each, do you mind if I ask them here as well?

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    Welcome to the forum, Arnold.

    In both cases, use 'I had seen'.

    Note: '... in the flesh'.

    Ask as many questions as you like, with a title specific to each, and not more than three a day.

  3. #3
    Arnold99 is offline Newbie
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    Thanks, mind if I ask why "I saw" is not correct there?

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    To me, "I saw" could work. The choice of the past perfect is often suggested by surrounding sentences - a single sentence is not always enough to decide.

  5. #5
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    In BrE, we use a perfect tense whenever we talk about "ever" or the "first time" of doing something.

    This is the first time I have ever met Donald Trump.
    That was the first time I had ever met Donald Trump.
    This is the first time in my life that I have eaten sushi.
    That was the first time in my life that I had eaten sushi.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    "The first time ever I'd seen your face ... "?

  7. #7
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    The usual disclaimer about song lyrics applies here - "The first time I had ever seen your face" wouldn't fit the rhythm of the song.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    You're right and I agree about the sentences without "This is/That was". For your French example, I'd say "That was the first time I had eaten garlic" but I agree that yours is correct too.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. #9
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: I had seen vs I saw

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "The first time ever I'd seen your face ... "?
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    The usual disclaimer about song lyrics applies here - "The first time I had ever seen your face" wouldn't fit the rhythm of the song.
    If anybody's wondering what the heck this is about, click here.

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