What's the difference between "I've been to London" and "I've gone to London"? Is there a difference at all? Watch this video to find out when to use "been" and when to use "gone" in present perfect sentences. English grammar can seem confusing, but here at EngVid we make things easier by breaking it down and explaining the logic behind it all. Once you understand the rules, you'll know how to use the language. After you watch the lesson, make sure you understand it by taking the quiz at https://www.engvid.com/been-to-gone-to/ . See if you can score 10/10 this time! Good luck!
Oh, wow, I've definitely never been there before. Have you been there before? While we're on that topic: Hey, everyone, I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on two commonly used and sometimes confused words in English. And those two words are: "been" and "gone". Now, these two words, I say they are commonly used and sometimes confused because they are often used in a similar way, in a similar context, but there is one situation where only one of them works.
Before we begin: What is "been", what is "gone"? Grammatically, these are past participles. And today we're specifically going to look at how to use them with perfect tenses, because the confusion with the two words usually happens in the perfect tenses themselves.
So, first let's look at "been". Notice the arrows that I drew here. So, if you have been to a place, this means that you went there and you returned. So, for example: "He's been to India." And by the way, this "he's", this means: "he has been in this situation", this is the present perfect. "He's been to India." He went and he returned in his life. This is a life experience that he had. Okay? So you can say: "I've been to India.", "I've been to Disney Land.", "I've been to Niagara Falls." So, if you want to talk about life experience where you went to a place, you returned from the place, it's behind you, it's in the past, it's done, it's in your life experience, "been" is usually the word you want to go with.
Next: "gone". Now, I'm going to look at "gone" in a specific context which basically means you went to a place and you're still there, and you went recently. So, for example: "He's gone to India". -"Where's Frank?" -"Frank's not in Canada, man. He's gone to India." This means recently Hank left Canada... Did I say Hank or Frank? Frank or Hank? How do you not remember? That's okay, let's keep going. "Hank/Frank, Hankfrank, Frankhank has gone to India." So, he went to India maybe two days ago. He's in India now.
Let's look at some more of these examples with "been" and "gone". "Been". "I've never been to China." Okay? Life experience, I've never been and returned, I have never visited China. "They had been there before." So we're using the past perfect tense, here. They had visited that location before. Ah: "We will have been in Montreal for three years by then." Now, here, it's actually slightly different. Right? Because you're not saying that you went to Montreal and you returned to Montreal, but that you have lived in Montreal for three years, or: "We will have lived", "We will have been in Montreal for three years by then." So, here is a different sense. Here, you're saying that in three years: "Oh, we will have been in Montreal for three years by that time", by a specific time in the future. Okay?
So, a different way to use "been". Now, again, remember "been" is the past participle of the verb "be", and after "be" you can use many, many, many, many different things, so you can talk about your age. Right? You can talk about adjectives, your feelings. You can follow the verb "to be" with a continuous form. Right? So: "He's been playing", "He's been reading", "He's been doing". For this lesson I specifically want to focus on using it to talk about travel and life experience with visiting places and returning from places.
"Gone", okay. "Jack's not here. He's gone home." Now, here we're using the present perfect. One of the uses for the present perfect is to talk about something that happened recently. Okay? And you can still see the effects, or something that just happened. So: -"Where's Jack?" -"Oh, Jack's not here. He's gone home. He has gone home." Not: "He's been home", that means he went home and he returned, and it's a weird kind of sentence. Maybe, unless he went for lunch, I guess. And here's another one: "She's gone grocery shopping". -"Hey, where is Matilda?" -"Matilda's not here. She has gone grocery shopping." Okay? So she went recently, she's there now. Next one, ah: "They've gone on vacation." So your neighbours are not here, you notice their car is not in the driveway. "Hey, where are the Hendersons?" -"Oh, the Hendersons are not here. They've gone on vacation." Okay? And last one: "He's gone to work". -"Mom, where's dad?" -"Dad's not home. He's gone to work." Okay? Recently he left the house, he went to work, he's at work now. […]