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  1. #1
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    Default 'Been' - past participle of GO?



    In another thread, engee30 and I were discussing sentences such as: Have you ever been backpacking? Have you ever been to Japan?

    Here are a couple of the points we made:

    engee30: The verb is not be, but go - and its past participle form in this case is been.

    5jj: The past participle form of GO is never been.

    Engee30: NOTE: Been is the past participle of be: I've never been seriously ill. It is also the past participle of go: I've never been to London. Gone is also a past participle of go: They've been to the cinema means that they went but they have now returned. They've gone to the cinema means that they went and are still there now. - (c) Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

    5jj: This is one of those rare occasions when I think the OALD is wrong. This is, in my opinion, an idiomatic use of the perfect tense of BE. To call been (+ to) a past participle of GO with the meaning of 'gone to and returned from' is stretching things a little.



    I'd be interested to hear what others have to say on this.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    - indeed. If you go to an office and ask 'Can I speak to Fred Nurk', the answer is 'No, he's gone to New York.' However, when Fred was planning his trip he might have asked 'Has anyone here been to New York?' In my view the OALDCE is basing an invalid generalization on an incomplete set of examples - and even less 'advanced' learners need to understand this difference. (On my CELTA course I said '"Been" is the ppl of "Go"' and was shot down in flames. )

    b

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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    (On my CELTA course I said '"Been" is the ppl of "Go"' and was shot down in flames. )
    I don't remember training you.

    In my view the OALDCE is basing an invalid generalization on an incomplete set of examples - and even less 'advanced' learners need to understand this difference.
    I agree, but even Quirk et al appear to imply strongly that been is a past participle of GO:

    "The two perfective constructions for the verb go, namely have gone and have been, differ ..." (p 194)

    "Of the two -ed participle forms of go [...] both gone and been occur in pseudo-coordination in BrE,..." (p 979)

    However, in their table of verbs, they give only gone. (p116).

    That's why I started this thread. I was wondering if I was alone in my view.

    Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey and Svartik, Jan (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, London: Longman

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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I don't remember training you.

    ...
    It was only 5 years ago, and I doubt it. The trainer in question was about 20 years my junior.

    ... I was wondering if I was alone in my view.
    ...
    No fear!

    b

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    I am pleased to see that Huddleston and Pullum (p 685) support the view held by Bob and me:

    “The verb be can have a motional sense in construction with the perfect. Compare:

    ..i.a. Jill has been to Moscow. …...b. Jill has gone to Moscow.
    ii. a. *Jill was to Moscow twice. ….b. Jill went to Moscow twice.

    The difference between be and go (apart from the restriction of be to the perfect, as shown in [iia]) is that be entails subsequent departure from the goal location.”

    Huddleston, Rodney & Pullum, Geoffrey K (2002) The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Cambridge: CUP

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I am pleased to see that Huddleston and Pullum (p 685) support the view held by Bob and me:

    “The verb be can have a motional sense in construction with the perfect. Compare:

    ..i.a. Jill has been to Moscow. …...b. Jill has gone to Moscow.
    ii. a. *Jill was to Moscow twice. ….b. Jill went to Moscow twice.

    The difference between be and go (apart from the restriction of be to the perfect, as shown in [iia]) is that be entails subsequent departure from the goal location.”

    Huddleston, Rodney & Pullum, Geoffrey K (2002) The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Cambridge: CUP
    How inconsistent that is! I've got a copy of CALD in which you can find this:

    been /bi:n/
    past participle of
    1 be
    2 used to mean 'visited', 'travelled' or 'arrived':
    I've never been to Kenya, but I hope to visit it next year.
    The postman hasn't been here yet.
    The doctor's just been (= has arrived and left).
    3 used as the past participle of 'go' when the action referred to is finished:
    She's been to the hairdresser's (= and now she has returned).

    (c) Cambridge University Press 2003

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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    How inconsistent that is! I've got a copy of CALD in which you can find this:[...]

    3 used as the past participle of 'go' when the action referred to is finished:
    She's been to the hairdresser's (= and now she has returned).
    So, we clearly cannot rely on the authorities to decide the issue.

    I was about to write more, but I'd only be repeating myself, so I'll wait to see if anybody else has any thoughts.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    What I'd also like to find out is whether the use of have gone in the following sentence is common in the USA:

    I've never gone to Egypt. (meaning the BrE I've never been to Egypt)

  9. #9
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    Exclamation Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I was about to write more, but I'd only be repeating myself, so I'll wait to see if anybody else has any thoughts.
    Same here.

    I hope this section of the forum is of interest to others, especially students of English. If not, what I'm going to write will be lost, I'm afraid to think.

    For the sake of simplicity, I'd advise learners to take been as a past participle of be in the cases written of in this thread, that is to say went and be back. But since I am not a teacher, such advice is worth nothing, maybe at least worth hearing/seeing. Whatever else could that be if not a partciple then?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    For the sake of simplicity, I'd advise learners to take been as a past participle of be in the cases written of in this thread, that is to say went and be back. But since I am not a teacher, such advice is worth nothing, maybe at least worth hearing/seeing.
    I agree with your first sentence. And, though you and I have sometimes disagreed in other threads , I do not think your thoughts are worth nothing -far from it.

    I frequently covered 'I have been to Japan' with learners when we were looking at the present perfect of GO - I suppose some of my learners might have inferred that 'been' was used as the past participle of GO in this usage. I don't really feel that that's a problem - I am far more concerned that learners use English effectively than that they can talk about it. I started this thread in the Linguistics rather than the Ask a Teacher forum precisely because I don't want learners to worry about this rather abstract point.

    My rather dry, perhaps time-wastingly academic, interest stems from my personal shock on seeing 'been' described as the past participle of GO in the OALD (after you pointed this out) . When I later went searching and discovered that Quirk and (once again, after you pointed it out) the CALD went along with this, I began to doubt my own beliefs. BobK and Huddleston & Pullum have cheered me up, but I still look forward to seeing what others think.

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