Is there any difference between

I've had an experience in something


I'm experienced in something


  • 1
    Yes, they mean completely different things. Have you consulted any dictionaries?
    – ruakh
    Nov 26, 2017 at 10:03

2 Answers 2



Only if you change the first statement to

I have experience in something

does it have the same meaning as the second statement.


Make sure you understand the difference between (2) and (3) in the treatment of the noun here:


a. Active participation in events or activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill . . .

b. The knowledge or skill so derived.


a. An event or a series of events participated in or lived through.

as well as the difference between the adjective experienced:

  1. Having had experience in an activity or in life in general: a highly experienced traveler.
  2. Skilled or knowledgeable as the result of active participation or practice: consulted an experienced investment counselor.

and the past tense of the verb, experience(d) (below the noun entries linked above):

To participate in personally; undergo; experience a great adventure; experienced loneliness

Now to address your examples:

"I've had an experience in something"

is unusual phrasing. It looks like an awkward cross between "I had an experience" (noun, 3) and "I have experience with _____" (noun, 2).

Normally, "an experience" specifies one event or occasion, as in definition 3a above. This is singular and therefore distinct from the idea of ongoing experience.

But experience "in something" suggests practical exposure, as in definition 2a.

"I'm experienced in something"

This is much clearer than your previous phrase, because the adjective experienced only corresponds to Definition 2 of the noun; there is no equivalent adjective "experienced" that corresponds to the noun's Definition 3.

  • Also note that the answer required interpreting your use of "something". I was guessing that using "in something" both times was meant to indicate a practical subject like a profession, craft, trade, or hobby. That's what made "I've had an experience in something" look odd. However, if for that "something" we substituted "this room", or "water", or "Michigan", or "mid-air" - anything/anywhere else in which you could be physically located while you "had an experience", the phrasing would fit quite comfortably.
    – N. Presley
    Nov 26, 2017 at 11:24

An experience is a noun

To be experienced is an adjective

"I'm very experienced" implies that you've had many experiences, however people use it to say that you've done it for a long time and you're very good at it.

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