Past Tense Of See: Saw or Seen? (Pronunciation & Usage)

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of See?

Can you effectively change “see” into the 12 tenses like the way you do with “arise” in the past tense?

What is the past tense of see? We do not let you wait for more. A quick response: “see” is an irregular verb, spelling S-E-E, with the past tense S-A-W, which stands for “saw.”

Moreover, the past participle of see is “seen” – S-E-E-N.

Please take a moment to peruse the following table and allow GrammarWiki to explain the verb formation.

Base/Infinitive Form (V1) see
Present Form/3rd Person/Singular Form sees
Past Form (V2) saw
Past Participle Form (V3) seen
Present Participle/Gerund seeing

Do you want to know the 12 verb tenses that apply to “see”? Please click on this reference for how active and passive voices differ regarding verbs forms.

How Do You Spell Saw?

Online Dictionaries can provide guidance on how this verb is pronounced in diverse English accents and language learning.

It doesn’t take long to master proper spelling. No need to read any further; jump right into exercising using the table below:

Form of word Pronunciation
British English language American English


see /siː/ /siː/
sees /siːz/ /siːz/
saw /sɔː/ /sɔː/
seen /siːn/ /siːn/
seeing /ˈsiːɪŋ/ /ˈsiːɪŋ/

What Is The Meaning Of Saw? – Examples And How To Use

Developing your command of the English language is as simple as studying the following definitions and examples. Take a look at these:

  1. To become aware of something/somebody by your eyes.
  • She tried all-out efforts to look for him yet saw him nowhere.
  • I believe that I had seen that guy somewhere.
  1. To watch a television program, game, performance, etc.
  • This game was particularly catchy, like no others I saw on the list.
  • The TV show was awe-inspiring, like no other I have ever seen before.
  1. To use or have the power of sight.
  • As it was getting dark, I saw nothing to read.
  • Up to now, I hadn’t seen anything interesting during my me-time.
  1. To look at some stuff to find out information or to ask somebody for information or help.
  • As I missed the conference, I saw a member schedule another.
  • Before asking the receptionist, I had seen the manager, who helped me reschedule the appointment.
  1. To visit something/somebody.
  • Roughly 300,000 visitors came and saw the summer palace yesterday. 
  • Many visitors had already paid a visit to this museum.
  1. To recognize, meet, or be near somebody by chance.
  • Guess who she saw at the session last night!
  • Kate had seen her idol since last week with extreme surprise.
  1. To spend time with somebody.
  • Anna changed after her family last saw her.
  • Her family had seen her for a month.
  1. To meet somebody.
  • He saw his doctor about that cough yesterday.
  • He had seen the mechanic since Thursday.

Quick Exercises: Choose The Correct Options

Created on By Benjamin Essek

Past Tense Of See

You may get familiar with the past tense of bleed. Yet, if you can’t do well with “see”, it’s better to get involved in several questions below:

1 / 7

The Christmas tree could only be …….. from the back of the house, but that didn't matter. It spices things up and sparkles everything for the whole house.

2 / 7

But when they looked, they ………. that the seat was vacant.

3 / 7

She finished her breakfast with little conversation and …………. Sarah and Tammy off to church.

4 / 7

The improvement they cannot help ………… in their child no matter how hard they tried.

5 / 7

I remember ………… some pictures of Granddad on an old rake like that.

6 / 7

But, while he continues demented, he cannot judge the visions he ………… or the words he utters.

7 / 7

His job is to push a button if he …………. anything suspicious.

Your score is

The average score is 0%



Has Seen Or Had Seen?

Both are correct. The past perfect tense of “see” is expressed with the phrase “had seen.” The present perfect tense form of “to see” is “has seen,” in contrast. 

Is It Have You Seen Or Saw?

“I’ve seen” is the correct form, not “I’ve saw” in written English. The auxiliary (helping verb) “have” (here shortened to “‘ve”) requires “seen.” 

  • Example: I’ve seen my cousin picking up his fellas by his BMW.

“I saw” is the correct past tense form (with no helping verb). 

  • Example: I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some terrible cars in my day: that old beat-up Rambler.

Is Saw A Verb?

Yes, see in past tense is saw. When it comes to the past participle verb, the word will become “seen”.

When To Use See Or Watch?

To “see” something means to “be aware of” it through visual perception. To “look” implies aiming one’s vision in a specific direction. 

Meanwhile, “watch” means to look at something/someone for a while to observe what is happening.

Is See Also A Noun? 

Yes. It’s also a noun, meaning ​the district or office of a bishop or an archbishop.

How About The Past Tense For Seen?

It’s “saw”. As stated, “seen” and “saw” are the past participle and past simple of see, respectively.