I have this example in my practice book where I need to use the Past Simple or Present Perfect:

My grandfather died before I was born. I have never met him.

The right answer is "I never met him".

Shouldn't we use the Present Perfect with "never"?


2 Answers 2


"I've never met him" would imply that you still might, in this life.


The distinguishing feature of perfect constructions in English is that there is some relevance to the present: what the specific relevance is may vary from case to case.

With negatives, the present relevance is nearly always that the circumstances in which the event is possible still hold: you might imagine that it implies the word "yet".

So it would be very odd to use it of seeing somebody who has died.

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