For example-

I'm gonna use these glasses I had / have never worn before.

I'll show you my shoes you had / have never seen.

Two questions:

Are they both correct since "never" is in presence?

And is it okay to add the word "before" since it feels unnecessary?

  • Tell us what you know about the difference between has worn and had worn, and what your are unsure of. 'Before' is optional and implied. From the ELL Help: Remember to make an effort to research your question before posting it, and be sure to add as much detail as you can when explaining your problem. The more you can tell us, the better answers you'll receive!
    – Davo
    Apr 27, 2017 at 16:41
  • It is not a good idea to use gonna, in a learning situation.
    – Lambie
    Jan 13, 2018 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


You can only use 'have' in these two sentences. Adding 'never' will not make using 'had' correct. 'had' in this case only works in past perfect sentence requiring the first verb to also be in the past (Talking about a something that happened before a point in the past). Adding before is optional but is more natural with the 'going to' sentence.

Present Perfect: "I'm going to use these glasses I have never worn before"

     ~~never worn glasses            use glasses
past ---------------------------|------------------> future

WRONG: I'm going to use these glasses I had never worn before

CORRECT: Past Perfect: "I used those glasses I had never worn before"

                         used those glasses   
     ~~never worn those glasses\|/
past -----------------------------------------|---------> future

Present Perfect: "I'll show you my shoes you have never seen"

     ~~never seen my shoes       show you my shoes
past ----------------------- | ---------------------> future

WRONG: I'll show you my shoes you had never seen

CORRECT: Past Perfect: "I showed you my shoes you had never seen"

                showed you my shoes
     ~~never seen shoes\|/ 
past ---------------------------- | -----------------> future
  • I agree to your answer. And I'd like to add another question, you see, I'm currently watching Twilight (2008), and I paused it as soon as I heard the first line "I'd never given much thought to how I would die." Why is it okay to use "had" when there's no other verb in the past? Shouldn't it be "I've never given..."?
    – Xyenz
    Apr 28, 2017 at 4:06
  • I guess it's using the past modal form of will here, i.e. "would". If I said "will" I would use "have" instead. "I have never given much thought to how I will die" (OK). So even though the verb doesn't come first, this is a different form of sentence. (subj + aux-verb + (never) + past-participle + (adj) + noun + preposition + subj + modal + base-verb). The aux-verb is the same tense as the modal in this case
    – pm101
    Apr 28, 2017 at 7:38
  • You guess that "would" is used as the past form. Are you saying that she was saying the quotation after she died? I'll assume you haven't watched the movie yet, but she didn't die. I'm sorry for that kind of question, but I just can't imagine it without the timeline, and it doesn't make any sense if "yes" is the answer. But please, I need an answer.
    – Xyenz
    Apr 28, 2017 at 10:27
  • "Would" implies possibility. So it doesn't mean she has died but was possible.
    – pm101
    Apr 28, 2017 at 17:31
  • "I'd never given [or I have never given] much thought to how I would die" is the past tense of: "I never give much thought to how I will die". would can signal a past tense of will + a verb.
    – Lambie
    Jan 13, 2018 at 13:58

"Had" places the event talked about completely in the past. "Have" might mean there are still implications for the present:

"I'll show you the shoes you had never seen before the dog used them as a chew-toy"

"I'll show you the shoes you've never seen and you'll wonder why the hell I ever bought them". "

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