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ESL forum > Ask for help > been or gone?    

been or gone?


been or gone?
Hi colleagues. Today a stdent of mine wanted to know why is " This is the first time I have ever been  abroad." correct
and   " this is the first time I have ever gone abroad" incorrect. Need your help. Many thanks in advance.

14 Jan 2016      


been - you come back from abroad

gone - you re still abroad

14 Jan 2016     


Loads of thanks.

14 Jan 2016     


I agree. You have been to a place after you have returned. By the way, my daughter has gone to Britain. she is living in Liverpool at the moment

14 Jan 2016     

United Kingdom

With respect, I would tend to disagree with the formula "been = you come back from abroad; gone = youre still abroad" as an answer to Holzauges query. It obviously works when comparing sentences like "I have been to Berlin" and "I have gone to Berlin", but note that theres a very specific (present) time marker in the OPs examples ("this is the first time...ever...") which changes the sense.
"This is the first time Ive ever been abroad": talking about an existing event (Im still abroad).
"This is the first time Ive ever gone abroad": as above, but with the focus more on the actual travelling.
In fact, I might ask lourteacher if this is the first time her daughter has ever been abroad knowing that shes still abroad, living in Liverpool.


15 Jan 2016     


Yes - the distinction is that "been" implies that you are still there (This is the first time) and "gone" implies that you went and returned, so we would use past simple: "It was the first time that I had gone abroad".

15 Jan 2016     

United States

been abroad = you ve arrived at your destination
gone abroad = you re still in transit 

15 Jan 2016