Arch Enemies of Good Writing

Write a brief (200-300 words) blog post about the one spelling or grammar hang-up that you have and can’t shake or that you find the most annoying in other people

I am by no means a grammar nazi, nor a grammar hound. I’m a grammar nothing.

All I know is that when I hear this used in conversation or see it in writing, I cringe. My brain screams, “Stop!”

My pet peeve stems around the misuse of Saw and Seen.

INCORRECT:

“Hey Maria! I seen you at Starbucks last night.”seen

“The last time I seen Jonny, he looked taller.”

“I seen the movie three times.”

CORRECT:

“Hey Maria! I saw you at Starbucks last night”

“The last I time I saw Jonny, he looked taller”

“I have seen the movie three times” or “I saw the movie three times”

Before I continue, allow me to confess that I did in fact have to Google the technical term for this grammatical error… Again, I’m no English scholar. I just inherently know when to say “seen” or “saw”.

I will admit to previously having little sympathy towards misusers of the word, but after my search yielded literally thousands of articles, forums, groups, Facebook pages and blogs dedicated to the shaming of those who just can’t grasp the concept, my heart was softened.

In fact, I even began to question if I was using seen and saw in the proper context.

Don’t worry though. You can take a quick quiz here and test your understanding of the English language.

If you got 100% like I did, congradulations. Lets be friends.

If not, then lets continue on.

My google search led me to a Grammar Guide blog. This blogger very kindly lays out the verb tense of saw/seen for a quick review.
PAST TENSE
I saw, you saw, he/she/it saw, we saw, you saw, they saw
 PRESENT PERFECT
I have seen, you have seen, he/she/it has seen, we have seen, you have seen, they have seen
 PAST PERFECT
I had seen, you had seen, he/she/it had seen, we had seen, you had seen, they had seen
 FUTURE PERFECT
I/you will have seen, he/she/it will have seen, we shall have seen, you will have seen, they will have seen

Personally, I wouldn’t get caught up in all the grammatical terminology.

To put it simply:

ALWAYS use “saw” in past tense (see above)

ONLY use “Seen” with “have,” “has,” or “had.

– MC

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