Episode 51

English with Kirsty – episode 51

Was, went, been, gone!

Kirsty working with students

You can listen to episode 51 here:

We’ve been talking about these four words in my Facebook group, so I decided to make a podcast episode about them as well.

The simple past is quite straightforward:

Was

When I woke up on Friday, I was very disappointed that the UK had voted to leave the EU.
That was an interesting book.
They were happy to see us.

Went

Last night, I went to visit a friend.
We went to Sweden last year.

You also use “went” when you are making a past form of a two-part verb that uses “go”:
I went shopping.
I went for a walk.

Just be careful because we use “went” when other languages use “was”:
I went to the cinema yesterday (not I was at the cinema yesterday).

We would only use “I was at the cinema yesterday”, if someone asks “where were you yesterday”. If they said “What did you do yesterday evening?, the answer would be “I went to the cinema”.

Been

“Has/have been” is more complicated because it’s used both as a past form of “to be”, and as a past form of “go”, when the person has returned from wherever they went.

To be:
I have been waiting for you for over half an hour.
They have been learning English for three years.

It’s also used in passive sentences:
I have been asked to set up a meeting with you.

Here are examples of it being used as a past form of “go”:
I have never been to Scotland, but I would like to go there one day.
We’ve been to that restaurant before. The food is really good.
I’ve already been to the supermarket, so you don’t need to go.

; Gone

“has/have gone” is used when somebody has gone somewhere, but they have not yet come back.

Jane is not in the office this week because she has gone on a business trip.
Mark has gone to pick the visitors up from reception.
I’m the only one in the office. All of my colleagues have gone home.

Find out more

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