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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > HAVE BEEN TO and BEEN IN    


Bruna Dutra

Hey guys...

I was working on the difference between "been to" and "gone to" with present perfect and a question came to my mind. I always see that difference covered in books and all, but somehow I find myself in doubt as to the use of "been in" for places, which I know I īve heard it being said, but am not quite sure of its grammar rule.

Does anyone know about the right use of it? I mean, if it īs grammatically correct to say:

I īve never been in France (instead of been to France).

Thanks for everyone who might be of a help in this.
Best regards,


4 Oct 2010      


with TO you add a different idea: the fact that you went from point A to point B...
but basically both sentences are the same, except for that small difference in the point of view: in France (you simply see the country) - to France (you see an arrow from your country to France)
is it clear?

4 Oct 2010     

Bruna Dutra

Hi, Elodie. Thanks for you reply.
That īs what I "get" from the sentences too. However, I couldn īt find anything for the grammar rules of use. (for the prepostion IN, I mean)

What I īd like to know is: Is it colloquial or plain correct to say it that way?

4 Oct 2010     

United States

Both are grammatically correct.

4 Oct 2010     


"been in" and "gone to" are both correct grammatically as Douglas and Elojodie pointed out.
But there are differences in meaning at times.

"I have been in France for many years." - indicates permanence, you are still there.

"I have gone to France many times." - indicates a situation that is over but happens to reoccur.

"I have been in France when there are elections." - means you were there when it happened, probably from the very beginning.

"I have gone to France when there are elections." - means that you went there at the time there were elections; but you were not already there when they started. The usage here denotes that you were travelling to France during their electoral period, not that you were already there when they started.

Hope this helps somewhat.



4 Oct 2010     

Bruna Dutra

Thanks my knight in shining armor (meaning Linda... LOL) LOL
And thanks everyone. I think I can make an explanation out of it now.


4 Oct 2010     


i don īt know if you can find what "IN" means but i īve studied what "TO" mean - i can give you my sources but you might not know them: Lapaire & Rotgé - they are French linguistics who study the rules of the English grammar... however if you read French, I could send you my notes... although i must tell you it īs quite hard to read, even for a native speaker...
have a nice day/evening!

4 Oct 2010     


Check this page for the grammar explanation:
I copy example sentences that will solve your problem, I hope.
4 [intransitive] + adverb/preposition to remain in a placeShe has been in her room for hours.They īre here till Christmas.
6 [intransitive] (only used in the perfect tenses) + adverb/preposition to visit or callI īve never been to Spain.

4 Oct 2010