4

'past perfect tense' or 'present perfect tense': Which one should I use in the following context?

The FIFA World Cup is one of the greatest shows on Earth. Of all the FIFA World Cups I have watched, the 2014 competition is the most memorable for me. The goal that Rodriguez scored is my favourite goal ever. I have/had never seen a goal like that before.

Here I want to mean that I hadn't seen a goal like that before and I haven't seen one since then.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Aug 14 '17 at 10:51

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • If you say before, you can't possibly make that mean that you also haven't seen one since. How about I have never seen another goal like that one. – Peter Shor Aug 7 '17 at 18:35
  • @PeterShor Thanks, that makes sense. But as far as I know when we use before with present perfect tense it means 'upto the monent'. Then why can't I use 'before' here – user250189 Aug 7 '17 at 18:41
  • How about, "It was the first and last time that I saw a goal like it." – vpn Aug 7 '17 at 18:53
  • It implicitly means before now. And since you saw the goal in 2014, you can't say that you have never seen a goal like that before now. The goal would have had to be in a recent game for you to say "I have never seen a goal like that before." – Peter Shor Aug 7 '17 at 18:54
  • 1
7

"I had never seen a goal like that before" places the entire statement back in 2014 when you saw the goal. "I have never seen a goal like that before" places the entire statement in the recent past, and cannot refer to a goal you saw back in 2014. Neither form allows you to express both that the goal was remarkable when it happened and that is has not been surpassed since then.

Actually, your explanatory sentence "I hadn't seen a goal like that before and I haven't seen one since" is one way a native speaker might express your meaning. Another is "I've never seen another goal like that one", and related forms.

  • "I've never seen a goal like that one" seems the most precise and compact. (Compare to "I've never heard another guitarist play blues like Jimi Hendrix.";) – DukeZhou Aug 7 '17 at 20:01
0

I think, you can not say (before) after "I have or had never seen like that" (that) it should be end of this context.. because you already saw it in 2014 :) you can add before, if it your first time to see a gaol like that.

0

You can say I have never seen the goal like that after.....!(means from 2014 to upto now)
You can say I had never the goal like that before....!(means from previous past to 2014)
You can also say I have never seen the goal like that....!(means in your whole life)
If you are in a football game right now. If goal was happened recently then you can say that I have never seen the goal like that before....!(from your whole life to up to now)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.