Haven’t Seen or Hadn’t Seen – What’s the Difference?

Are you trying to figure out the correct tense for “haven’t seen”? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will explain all you need to know before using “haven’t seen” and “hadn’t seen.”

Haven’t Seen or Hadn’t Seen – What’s the Difference?

“Haven’t seen” is the present perfect tense, while “hadn’t seen” is the past perfect tense. The present perfect tense (haven’t) implies you have yet to see something (both in the past and present). The past perfect tense (hadn’t) implies you had not seen something until right now.

For example:

  • Present perfect: I haven’t seen the things you’re talking about. I’ll keep my eyes peeled, though.
  • Past perfect: We hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks. So, our first meeting was interesting.

Keep reading to learn more about the two phrases and how you can use the tenses correctly. They’re not interchangeable, so you need to ensure you know all the rules.

Haven’t Seen

“Haven’t seen” is the present perfect tense. It means that you have not seen something in the past and still have yet to see it.

For example:

  • I haven’t seen you today. Let me know when you’re around next so we can catch up quickly.
  • I haven’t seen you in a while. Are you doing okay, Mathew?
  • No, I haven’t seen it yet. Is it worth watching? I’d love to go with you!

The present perfect tense means that something is true in the past and at the current moment of writing. Therefore, “haven’t seen” always implies you still haven’t seen something that others might have.

Hadn’t Seen

“Hadn’t seen” is the past perfect tense. It means you had not seen something in the past but you have seen it now.

For instance:

  • So, I hadn’t seen it until others told me about it. Now, I’m glad that I am all caught up.
  • She hadn’t seen them until the other week. It was quite an emotional reunion.
  • I hadn’t seen my mother until that moment. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The past perfect tense means that something might have been true in the past. However, it is no longer true in the present, meaning you have recently seen something (or are currently seeing it).

Conclusion

“Haven’t seen” is the present perfect tense. It implies you have yet to see something (both in the past and present).

“Hadn’t seen” is the past perfect tense. It means you had not seen something in the past, but have recently seen it in the present.