What are the differences between:

  • Do you see
  • Did you see
  • Have you seen

and when or what situations that I used them?

closed as off-topic by Eddie Kal, Michael Rybkin, user3169, Andrew, Stephie Dec 13 '18 at 21:23

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Do you see ... (simple present tense):

Do you see Mariya every day on your walk to school?


Do you see that beautiful girl?

THE SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE IS USED: (copied from the EF website)

  • To express habits, general truths, repeated actions or unchanging situations, emotions and wishes:

I smoke (habit); I work in London (unchanging situation); London is a large city (general truth)

  • To give instructions or directions:

You walk for two hundred meters, then you turn left.

  • To express fixed arrangements, present or future:

Your exam starts at 09.00

  • To express future time, after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until:

He'll give it to you when you come next Saturday.

Be careful! The simple present is not used to express actions happening now.

Did you see ... (simple past tense):

Did you see Mariya at school yesterday?

SIMPLE PAST TENSE (Also copied from the EF website)

The simple past tense sometimes called the preterite, is used to talk about a completed action in a time before now. The simple past is the basic form of past tense in English. The time of the action can be in the recent past or the distant past and action duration are not important.

You always use the simple past when you say when something happened, so it is associated with certain past time expressions

frequency: often, sometimes, always

I sometimes walked home at lunchtime.

I often brought my lunch to school.

a definite point in time: last week, when I was a child, yesterday, six weeks ago We saw a good film last week.

Yesterday, I arrived in Geneva.

She finished her work at seven o'clock

I went to the theatre last night

an indefinite point in time: the other day, ages ago, a long time ago

People lived in caves a long time ago.

She played the piano when she was a child.

Note: the word ago is a useful way of expressing the distance into the past. It is placed after the period of time: a week ago, three years ago, a minute ago.

Be Careful! The simple past in English may look like a tense in your own language, but the meaning may be different.

Have you seen ... (present perfect tense):

Have you seen my brother before?

PRESENT PERFECT (Link to EF website)

The present perfect is used to indicate a link between the present and the past. 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.


  • An action or situation that started in the past and continues in the present. I have lived in Bristol since 1984 (= and I still do.)

  • An action performed during a period that has not yet finished. She has been to the cinema twice this week (= and the week isn't over yet.)

  • A repeated action in an unspecified period between the past and now. We have visited Portugal several times.

  • An action that was completed in the very recent past, expressed by 'just'. I have just finished my work.

  • An action when the time is not important. He has read 'War and Peace'. (= the result of his reading is important)

Note: When we want to give or ask details about when, where, who, we use the simple past. Read more about choosing between the present perfect and the simple past tenses.

BE CAREFUL! There may be a verb tense in your language with a similar form, but the meaning is probably NOT the same.

  • Do not copy from other websites unless you cite them. – J.R. Dec 10 '18 at 3:33
  • but I have a comment , when I say do you know where is .... or do you know sth that refers he don't know about that and he also want the listener to give him information....and also when we use simple present with stative verb we refer to an action happened right now..is that sound correct ?? thank you again – Ayah alasal Dec 10 '18 at 16:43

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