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Is there any difference in meaning between I never saw it before and I have never seen it before when talking about life expriences? For example:

I never saw such a big fish in real life before. This is the first time.

I have never seen such a big fish in real life before. This is the first time.

Until recently, I would have thought that the first sebtences was incorrect. But, in the 11th episode of the 10th season of Friends, one of the characters used the Past Simple instead of the Present Perfect. Here it is:

Roy: What's the matter? You never saw a 50 year old stripper cry before?

Would the meaning be exactly the same if he said you have never seen a 50 year old stripper cry before?

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    To my (British) ears I never saw ... before sounds quintessentially American. The before sets this in a period of time continuing up to the present, so I would always use the present perfect I've never seen ... before. – Colin Fine Jul 14 '20 at 10:13
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To agree with Colin, as an American speaker, I'm pretty sure these are dialectical differences. I can hear native speakers saying either one.

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    American native, anyway 8>) (from a fellow American) – rcook Jul 14 '20 at 12:43

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