I met a coworker at a bar and I said "I saw you last week at the gas station".

He replied with "I have seen you too but didn't want to bother you."
Why didn't he use "I saw you too..."?

  • 4
    If it a gas station you both frequent, perhaps he is saying he has seen you there more than one. Otherwise, if he is a native speaker, is it possible that you misheard him, and he actually said "I may have seen you too, but didn't want to bother you." The "m" in may could be a small sound. It wouldn't be perfect grammatically, but it wouldn't be terrible, either.
    – Adam
    Mar 14, 2016 at 19:02
  • 1
    @Adam I think this is the correct answer. Have seen as used here normally means more than once, whereas saw refers to a single event.
    – Era
    Mar 14, 2016 at 19:17

2 Answers 2


"I have seen you too" indicates that the speaker isn't refering to a single instance but has seen him on several occasions.

"I saw you too" indicates that he is talking about that particular time, last week, the first speaker is refering to.

  • you should elaborate a bit more. :)
    – dockeryZ
    Aug 30, 2016 at 2:03

The word saw is used when the speaker is talking about themselves or something like that, as in: Hey, I saw you at that rock concert last night. Have seen can be used for multiple things, as in: I have seen you several times at school. Saw would be used when talking about one thing. But they both can be used for single or plural things. Also, saw would be used when you are talking about a time period that has finished. Have seen is used when the time period is not over. As in: I saw three movies last week. I have seen three movies this week.

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