I seen it" and other stupid mistakes
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Hi. James from EngVid. I was talking to a friend the other day - actually I was talking to two friends. One was from Detroit, in the ghetto, a really poor, poor area, and the other one was from down south. We were having a conversation, and it was the three of us, drinking lattes in Starbucks, and we were chatting about a movie. It was "Green Hornet". I was saying, "Green Hornet, it's on Netflix. I'm going to go watch it." Netflix, it's this thing in America. You've probably seen it. You can get movies all over. Anyway, I said, "I want to see this movie, Green Hornet." Now, my friend who was from the ghetto, he went, "Yo, man, it ain't that good. It ain't that good. I wouldn't see it if I were you. I wouldn't see it. It ain't that good." I was kind of confused. So I looked at my friend from the south and I went, "What does he mean?" He goes, "I seen it. I seen it, too. It ain't that good. He's right." I was thinking to myself, "I need some new friends." Now, why? I'm going to explain, because in this particular lesson we call it, "I seen it", and other stupid mistakes. Now, I'm being unfair. But generally put, "I seen it", and "it ain't good", and "if I were you", "if I was you I wouldn't see it", "if I was you", they are shown in movies and in music and they are used as what we call stereotypes. A stereotype is when we say, anything like this, the rest is exactly the same. So all the people from England drink tea and like Earl Grey and Poupon, because it's a stereotype. All Canadians like beer, eh? That's a stereotype. So, it's to say one thing, one kind, all are the same. In this particular case, in North American movies, when they want to show someone as being uneducated or stupid, meaning not intelligent, they usually make them use things like "ain't", "She ain't my wife. She's my cousin", or "seen". Usually in the south, Arkansas and Texas, they make them say this, because they want them to seem simple and nice, or just simple and stupid. In the ghetto, "Yo, man, I seen him with my own two eyes. He ain't a good man." I'm giving you this background because I'm not saying this, but if you start using it because you watch the movies and you see these stereotypes and you think, "This is how they sound in America. I will sound like this", they will think you're stupid, and act accordingly. "Accordingly" meaning: treat you that way. So let's go to the board and do some work. Problem number one, "I seen it before". The problem with, "I seen it" is, what they mean to say is, "I saw it". It's very simple. It's the simple past. When we say the simple past, we say, something was true. Something happened. It happened before and it is true. That's it. "Seen" is actually a past participle. Past participle means something in the past, yes. But it participates - participates. When you participate, it means you're a part of something. Yes? You've got it. You're part. Well a past participle usually, unless we're speaking of speech - I forgot the speech now. It'll come back to me. Trust me. It usually participates by having a perfect form, which would be "have", so "have had", "has had", and "had had", believe it or not. So, here there is no participle. They just said, "I seen it". They missed the perfect form. You need to have the perfect form. So, the problem is using the past participle, "seen" when you should use the simple past. Right? Easy enough, "saw" and "seen". Solution number one, "you saw", just just "you saw". "I saw the movie", "I saw you yesterday".