been vs. gone

By | August 3, 2016
been vs. gone
Nature hasn’t gone anywhere.
La natura non è andata da nessuna parte.
- Björk
✓ I've been to London three times.
✗ I've *gone* to London three times.
Sono stata a Londra tre volte.
✓ Mary’s not here. She’s gone to the hairdresser’s.
✗ Mary's not here. She's *been* to the hairdresser's.
Mary non c’è. E’ andata dal parucchiere.
The verb go has two forms in the Present Perfect tense: have/has been and have/has gone. The meaning is different.
If we say that someone has been to a place, we mean that they have visited it at some (unspecified) time in the past but aren’t there now. Some more examples:
✓ I’ve been to France several times, but I’ve never been to Paris.
✗ I’ve *gone* to France several times, but I’ve never *gone* to Paris.
Sono stata in Francia diverse volte, ma non sono mai stata a Parigi.
✓ Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for an hour!
✗ Where have you *gone*? I’ve been waiting for an hour!
Dove siete stati? E’ un’ora che aspetto!
If we say that someone has gone to a place, we mean that they aren’t here because they are there (or are going there) now. Some more examples:
✓ Sorry, Mrs Law isn’t in the office. She’s gone to lunch. (= she’s at the restaurant or is going there)
✗ Sorry, Mrs Law isn’t in the office. She’s *been* to lunch.
Mi dispiace, la Signora Law non è in ufficio. E’ andata a pranzo.
✓ The boys have gone to the park. I told them to be home by dinnertime. (= they’re at the park now)
✗ The boys have *been* to the park. I told them to be home by dinnertime.
I ragazzi sono andati al parco. Ho detto loro di essere a casa per l’ora di cena.

Now try the quiz below! There are TEN answers. The pass mark is 80% (8 out of 10). Click on the blue arrows to go to the next or previous question. You can check your answers immediately or when you've finished the quiz.

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