Any sense - "I've haven't been skiing"

“I’ve haven’t been skiing”, this sentence for me does not have any sense…My point is the structure that the sentence is using, I think is not correct at all—but not pretty sure…If someone has any explanation I’d appreciate it… thanks in advance.

Hi Serzige

The sentence is incorrect. And it doesn’t make any sense to me, either.

(Maybe someone wasn’t sure whether they’d been skiing or not… the sentence seems to be both positive and negative. :roll: :wink:)

You could say either:
“I’ve been skiing.”

  • OR -
    “I haven’t been skiing.”

Does that answer your question?


The reason it’s incorrect is that with I’ve and haven’t, you’ve doubled the helping verb have. You’re saying, “I have haven’t been skiing,” which, as you say, makes no sense. It’s like saying, “I do don’t like it,” or, “He will won’t visit us.” All of those are nonsense.

There was a musical group in the 1980s called “Was Not Was”, though. Their name also didn’t make sense.

I agree. You have, in effect, said the word “have” twice. I think you got confused because of the the connected words “I’ve” and “haven’t”. When this happens, try separating the words “I’ve” to “I have” and “haven’t” to “have not” so you will see clearly what you are doing wrong.

Ok guys…Thanks for your explanations. Nevertheless, I give you this: the most strange thing for me was that the sentence, I’ve mentioned before, it was taken from the cambridge dictionary. All this happened when I looked the word “appeal” up in the dictionary. Afterwards, the whole sentence appears like this: “I’ve haven’t been skiing–it’s never really appealed”. Finally, I would like to know if the dictionary is wrong or I am…

So long!

Hi Serzige

That is a strange sentence! I don’t particularly like the end of it either. I’d prefer adding something like ‘to me’ to the end of the sentence — after ‘appealed’ (here: appeal = transitive verb).

Here’s a theory: Possibly the writer first wanted to say ‘I’ve never been skiing…’ and then changed his/her mind because the word ‘never’ also appears in the second half of the sentence. The writer then decided to write 'I haven’t ever been skiing…’ instead. Somehow both ‘ever’ and ‘never’ got deleted and ‘have’ ended up doubled. (A “cut and paste” problem?)

However, this doesn’t explain the end of the sentence. Does the the missing ‘to me’ bother anybody else? Or is it just me? I might be willing to say ‘it’s never really been appealing’ but notit’s never really appealed.’ Without the context of the first half of the sentence (which doesn’t make sense anyway :roll:), ‘It’s never appealed’ sounds like a reference to legal proceedings.


Hi Serzige,

Well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs! This is clearly a misprint. I’ve haven’t seen anything like it.!!!


Thanks Alan for you answer…and everybody too.
So it means I wasn’t wrong. Therefore, there’s a whole host of reasons that you guys have given me in order to go beyond what I see, when looking words up in a dictionary …thanks a lot…

By the way Alan, what does “I’ll go to the foot of our stairs!” means?? Thanks!

Hi Sergio,

You asked:

This expression means I am completely and utterly surprised It’s similar to another one suggesting that you are utterly amazed: You could knock me down with a feather!

The sentence ‘I’ve never been skiing’ didn’t sound quite right to me. Then I thought it was due to the combination of the adverb ‘never’ with what looked like a present perfect continuous. It took me some time to realise that it’s a present perfect and that ‘been’ here is used as the past participle of ‘go’ (to go skiing, meaning the action of skiing).

Learners beware!

Hi Conchita

I hadn’t noticed that! That’s a very good point. You’re absolutely right! The funny thing is, “I’ve never been skiing” didn’t set off any “grammar alarms” in my head — even though after 16 years of teaching ESL, those alarms are usually quite easily tripped. So, I’ve been scratching my head as to why not. (Do you think head-scratching can repair an alarm? ;))

“I’ve been skiing” would be present perfect continuous of the verb ‘to ski’. If you pay strict attention to the “Grammar Gods”, then “I’ve never skied” would be preferable to “I’ve never been skiing”. But “I’ve never gone skiing” would be the best choice of all.

I’m a puzzler by nature, so I did a Google search for “never been skiing” and got 25,200 results. Hmmmmm… A quirk in popular usage?


Hi Amy and Conchita,

Let me into a secret,will you? What are you talking about, please?

Why do you say:


What’s wrong? As someone involved in EFL for some 50 years (oh dear!) no alarm bells are ringing for me. Maybe the batteries need replacing.

Anyways (said with Liverpool accent) be can convey all sorts of things and certainly go.



Hi Alan

Thanks for the input. :wink: Your feedback tells me that ‘I’ve never been skiing’ sounds just as valid to you as ‘I’ve never gone skiing’.

This is what I understand to be the point of the conversation between Conchita and me:

The word ‘never’ is not normally used in a present perfect continuous (progessive) sentence. e.g.:

I’ve never worked in London is definitely better than I’ve never been working in London.

But somehow it sounds OK in the sentence ‘I’ve never been skiing.’


If you say ‘I’ve never been to London’, then ‘be’ would have a meaning similar to ‘go’. So I guess that’s the explanation for the ‘skiing’ sentence, too. Thanks.

Hi Amy,

Your sentence:

is all right if you then complete the sense of when because the continuous idea has got to have a background of some kind. Let me try to explain:

I’ve been working in London now for many years but I’ve never been working at a time when there have been so many tourists around.

What do you think?


Hi Alan,

Yes, I guess you could use it that way, but I would probably tend to use the simple present perfect in the second half of the sentence.
I’ve been working in London now for many years but I’ve never worked at a time when there were so many tourists around.

Or worse, it (the verb work) might just end up in the simple past tense from an American mouth :wink:

I’ve been working in London now for many years but I never worked at a time when there were so many tourists around.


This is my second fit of the giggles today, thanks to both of you! Did I say giggles? A great belly laugh burst is more like it (and I swear I didn’t even have wine for lunch!)!

Hey…guys, I haven’t realized yet what you are talking about…could someone explain me?? I mean, what Yankee have said is something about a sentence similar to mine…is it, right? I got confused, I don’t know if my post took another path…let me know what you are sayong…

Many thanks…

Hi Sergio

Yes, the conversation got a bit sidetracked due to my “theory” sentences (above). Sorry about that.

A question arose when I added the word ‘never’ to the sentence “I’ve been skiing”. Conchita pointed out a tricky grammar point. And it wasn’t until after Alan joined in that I fully understood the point Conchita wanted to make. :wink:

So, I’ll try to explain what we were talking about: (I hope it doesn’t leave you even more confused.)

I’ve never gone skiing would be a present perfect simple form of “to go skiing”.

I’ve never been skiing has exactly the same meaning. However, in this sentence the word “gone” was replaced by “been”. The meaning of the word “be” can sometimes have the same meaning as “go”. And that is the case here. This sentence is also present perfect simple.

However, with the word “been” in the second sentence, it looks like the present perfect continuous of “to ski”. And that’s what started the “confusion”. :wink:

Conchita mentioned not feeling comfortable using ‘never’ in a present perfect continuous sentence.
I normally wouldn’t use ‘never’ with present perfect continuous either. But because the second sentence looked like present perfect continuous, it also “looked wrong”.
I’m a native speaker, and the sentence didn’t “feel” wrong and that’s what got me scratching my head. I wanted to know why not.

In the end, I think we all agreed that “I’ve never been skiing” is NOT the present perfect continuous form of “to ski”. But rather the simple present perfect of “to go skiing” with the word “go” replaced by “be”.

Does that explanation help at all? I have a horrible feeling that the whole conversation is probably not any clearer for you now than before…

It might be better to just remember that “I’ve never been skiing” and “I’ve never gone skiing” mean the exactly the same thing. :lol: