Do you think you saw me somewhere before


Do you think you have seen me somewhere before

In my grammar books it says that the Present Perfect is never used with adverbs of past time. In such cases the past tense is used. However it also says that the present perfect is used to express past actions whose time isn't given and not definite.

In the first sentence an adverb of past time is mentioned before according to the book's rules the past tense should be used. But I feel like the latter is correct. Please tell which is right with the reason.


1 Answer 1


The second one is more correct grammatically. However, English speakers use the first version all the time.

Depends on what you're writing I guess - is it a legal brief, or a story?

  • 1
    Note that Jason, who often provides accurate and well-researched answers, says in a comment above '[T]hey are both grammatical'. In an 'answer', you need to substantiate your counter-claim. But please be aware that more prestigious grammars such as McCawley, Huddlestone & Pullum often have to expose the errors in many school grammars. Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 15:21
  • @Dave Green I was making sentences on my own using the rules I had learnt. This sentence popped into my mind but I was having a little confusing wether to use the simple tense or present perfect. I too think the second sentence is correct because although the simple past is used with adverbs of past time, the present perfect tense is preferred with adverbs or adverb phases such as never, ever (questions only), many times, BEFORE etc. I hadn't known this until I read of it in an article on the internet. Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 20:55

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