Imagine this scenario: You are having a conversation with someone about a tropical fruit which you have seen the picture of (on the internet or something) and do know the name of; but you have never seen or touched it in your hand or in a fruit market.

He: "What do you think of the papaya?"

You : "Oh... ?".

  • oh, I've never seen it before
  • oh, I've never seen it closely
  • oh, I've never had it before

Which clearest answer emphasizing on just you have never seen in front of you(or touched) would be okay in this situation?

  • Oh, I didn't actually see one.
    – Graffito
    Jan 6, 2016 at 20:00
  • Does it inform that you also are familiar with that, indeed? Jan 6, 2016 at 20:06
  • Saying that implies that you know about it.
    – Graffito
    Jan 6, 2016 at 20:17
  • I would say I've only ever seen a picture of one, so I don't know much about them.
    – WS2
    Jan 6, 2016 at 20:20
  • 2
    "I've never seen one in person" (I know this is idiomatic but in the US, that is a common way to convey that you haven't seen something close-up) Jan 6, 2016 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


I'd say: "I've never seen one up-close."

[ADVERB] At very close range.

‘he was able to experience glaciers calving up-close’


It's worth noting that the ODO entry doesn't list any synonyms.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.