A: Do you know her

B: I saw/ have seen her a few times but I never spoke to her.

  • 3
    You can use either one. It depends what you want to say, which is why there is both a past simple and a present perfect in English. You might want to click on those two tags and so some reading.
    – user20792
    Sep 1, 2015 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


The construction would be have + past participle in such cases.

I've seen her ...

Here, "I saw..." would depict a distant past opposite to '..have seen' which is a recent past.

Both construction would work depending on what you want to say.

  • 1
    Well, actually a "few times" event, as OP stated. Simple past works fine. Sep 1, 2015 at 8:53
  • @BrianHitchcock the stroke (/) confused me. I thought the OP is not including '..a few times' with 'saw'. Changed
    – Maulik V
    Sep 1, 2015 at 9:49
  • 1
    I don't think simple past works very well in response the question "Do you know her?" It would be better suited to "Did you know her?"
    – TimR
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:12
  • That depends! In fact the straightforward answer could be, "No, I don't!" And, that's the reason, if you see my unedited answer, I tried to describe that it's a 'one time event' not proper to the question (i.e. in that context). But Brian provoked me to change it! :P @TRomano
    – Maulik V
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:15
  • 1
    I think the question to ask is not whether the thing is distant or recent, but whether it impinges upon the present. Since the question is about one's current knowledge, it invites a reply that couches the facts with reference to the present: "Do you know her? I've seen her on several occasions but ..."
    – TimR
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:25

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