"I have never seen him working", Is it grammatically correct?



  • He is very lazy. I have never seen him working.

  • He is very lazy. I have never seen him work.

Are both of them grammatically correct? What is the difference in meaning between them?


I read the duplicate question, but I couldn't understand which one is correct in the above context. work or working?

I think work is correct, because it follows the verb tense in the first clause.

I think working is useful in another context. when the situation is temporary e.g.

It seem he is frustrating, I haven't seen him working recently.


Posted 2017-03-13T07:40:43.530

Reputation: 4 372

Question was closed 2017-03-13T23:13:10.093

3Honestly, both sound fine. – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-13T08:28:27.960

1Just FYI, colloquially, we might say, "I've never seen him work a single day in his life." – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-13T09:00:00.107

I read the duplicate question, But I don't understand which one (work or working) should I use with the above context and why. @TeacherKSHuang so I rely on sound and use any one of them, thank you – Shannak – 2017-03-14T04:10:55.880

Mmm, I understand. I hadn't marked this question as a duplicate, but I do feel that both are fine. What do you think the difference is between them, if you do feel that there is a difference? – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-14T07:53:56.350

1thank you @TeacherKSHuang I'll edit the question with what I think. – Shannak – 2017-03-14T08:23:00.247

1Talk about a proactive learner :O :D! – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-14T08:26:26.953



The right one should be -

"I never saw him working"


"He is very lazy, I have never seen him working"


"He is very lazy, I have never seen him doing any work"


Posted 2017-03-13T07:40:43.530

Reputation: 105

2"..seen him work" wrong? – user178049 – 2017-03-13T08:33:12.103

I think it's because usually, we would say, "I have never seen him do any work." – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-13T08:36:28.293

Also, if you combine the two sentences, I would use a semicolon, as in, "He is very lazy; I have never seen him working." What do you think? – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-13T08:37:34.700

1@TeacherKSHuang I think see is a verb of perception. – user178049 – 2017-03-13T08:52:54.050

Lastly, this answer would be better served if it has some supporting details of why, especially since the questioner asked specifically if the sentences had been correct grammatically. Please note that this is not a comment personally directed at you; just a comment as part of the community review. I have neither downvoted nor flagged the answer. – Teacher KSHuang – 2017-03-13T08:57:25.453


I disagree with NehaK's answer and say that both are correct.

The first sentence 'He is very lazy. I have never seen him working.' means that probably he does work but I have never seen him in the process of doing it.

The second sentence 'He is very lazy. I have never seen him work.' means that he I was watching him all the time and have never seen him do any work at all.

Let's rephrase them to have a side look at the sentences:

  1. I have seen him working at the computer yesterday.
  2. I have seen him work at the computer yesterday.

The first sentence tells us that I happened to see him in the process of doing work at the computer yesterday though I am not sure at whether he finished working. The second one tells us that I was watching the whole action from beginning to end.


Posted 2017-03-13T07:40:43.530

Reputation: 23 612