When reading online articles, I often come across sentences like "I never seen . . .", which apparently looks either "have" or "'ve" is omitted after "I".

Here are some examples.

Yahoo News
Krisztina Gayler, who recorded this footage, described it as "unbelievable" to witness. "I never seen anything like this in person," she wrote on Facebook.

The Guardian
"Held the bible in his hand. I've been preaching since I was a little boy. I never seen anyone hold a bible like that," Sharpton quipped.

The New York Times
"I been here all my life and I never seen it so bad," Clarence Blunt, Ms. Blunt's father, said at supper on Saturday night in Malta.

Is it common for native speakers to omit "have", "has", "'ve" or "'s" from present perfect sentences in informal conversations?

  • 1
    It’s common in certain dialects but definitely non-standard.
    – StephenS
    Sep 25, 2020 at 3:18
  • When I hear "I seen" and "I done" in the UK, they are mostly used as simple pasts rather than abbreviated perfects, but they do read more as abbreviated perfects in TeeBee's examples. It may be different in different dialects.
    – rjpond
    Sep 25, 2020 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


As StephenS observed, usages such as "I been", "I seen" are dialectal and definitely not part of standard English.

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