When I was chatting with a friend he asked me "Did you see the match?" I know this’s completely right, but, it came to my mind was that wrong to say "Have you seen the match?" instead.


3 Answers 3


Either wording can be correct, depending on context. With regards to a "match", usually some kind of sporting event, "did" is more likely to be appropriate.

In particular, "did you see the match?" should be used when there is only one time that someone would be likely to see the match. For example, a live event like a sport match is typically watched at the time it happens, and if you are wondering whether somebody watched a recent match (such as "yesterday's match") then you are most likely expecting that they watched it live, or not at all.

On the other hand, "have you seen the match?" implies that there are many opportunities to see it, and a common response might be "not yet" because the opportunities will continue in the future. For example, a recently released movie will have multiple show times in many theaters every day, and thus "have you seen the movie?" is much more likely. When talking about a sport match, "have you seen" would be reasonable if you are it's a famous match that someone would make an effort to find a recording rather than just the most recent one.


'Did you see the match?' would be more common in American English, and 'Have you seen the match?' more common in British English. Both are right.

Speakers of American English generally use the present perfect tense (have/has + past participle) far less than speakers of British English. In spoken American English, it is very common to use the simple past tense as an alternative in situations where the present perfect would usually have been used in British English.

One Stop English


Because the match is over and you can't watch it anymore, it is simple past. The match is an event - you wouldn't say "have you gone to the match" so you don't say "have you watched the match"

  • Can you explain more than this please?
    – Eng.Mido
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 18:53
  • You can use the present perfect tense to talk about actions which were completed in the past, but which have an effect in the present. The time of the action is before now but not specified, and we are often more interested in the result than in the action itself. Have you (now) seen the match (in the past)? This is standard English, but is much more likely in British than American English. Commented May 23, 2018 at 18:58
  • So "did" is much better. is that the same to the following sentences 1- Have you eaten your breakfast? 2- Did you eat your breakfast?
    – Eng.Mido
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 19:13
  • "Did you see" is not "much better" than "have you seen". They are regional variations. One is more common in US and the other in British English. Commented May 23, 2018 at 19:59

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