I have read about the construction: want something done, as in, I don't want it done this way.

But today I found the construction: see something done, in the example,

I have never seen this used.

should I add it in my English or just go for:

I have never seen that this is used.


Thank in advance.

  • 1
    For some reason, I'm use to see a present participle or a passive present participle, or a bare infinitive after such kind of state verbs (see, hear, taste, ....). Although I can, to some extent, understand why that might be idiomatic and correct, I want to know where you saw this sentence. Also, the first part of your question is not very related to the rest of them, you may want to edit your question to make it shorter. – Cardinal May 14 at 2:29
  • @Cardinal hello, I saw the construction on this very site in a reply. By the way, I have edited the question. Please explain. – user100323 May 14 at 2:37
  • Would you please, edit the question and include the link to the comment? You can click on the date (time?) of that comment and past the link into your question. I am myself a learner, let's wait for people who can answer your question. By the way, I meant the initial discussion you made regarding the verb "want" is not very related to the rest of your question. – Cardinal May 14 at 2:43

The construction "see something done" is grammatically correct. The past participle 'done' denotes a complete actions. It's a case of ellipsis. The omitted part is "which was" or "which had been":

Someone saw something [which was] done.

e.g., I saw the door (which was) closed.


Someone saw something [which had been] done.

e.g., I saw the door (which had been) closed.

Your example is also a case of ellipsis. Here the omitted part is "to be" :

"I have never seen this (to be) used."

( = I have never seen that this is used. )

| improve this answer | |
  • I think, "I saw the(a?) door [which was] closed" does not seem to be related to the context in which the OP's sentence lies! The OP's question is more likely to be the concise form of "I've never seen that thing being used like that" or something of that sort. – Cardinal May 14 at 2:47
  • Hello, Sandeep, could you explain it further or give me a source. – user100323 May 14 at 2:53
  • Yea, "I have never seen this used" means "I have never seen this to be used." ( = I have never seen that this is used.) – Sandip Kumar Mandal May 14 at 2:55

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.