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  1. #51
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Isn't it strange that I can say

    I've been to London.


    and I can't say

    I am to London?

    I agree with 5jj that this usage is strange and I think it's strange because of the "to".
    BE + to (meaning situated, a meaning different from that of GO + to) survives in dialects on each side of the pond:


    British English (Wiltshire): Where are you to? (meaning, where are you (situated), not where are you going)

    Canadian English (Newfoundland): Stay where you are to (meaning, stay where you are (situated)).

  2. #52
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    ... and in quite prestigious/educated dialects too. Giles Coren (Oxford degree in English, etc) in today's Times, wrote (in an informal narrative) "I was to Selfridge's"
    [for non-UK people, that's a shop in London's Oxford Street].

    b

  3. #53
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    "I was to Selfridge's
    Beautiful find, Bob.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    I decided to try the OED and Websters Third, both of them slightly more authoritative than the OALD and CALD. Here are some things I found (my emphasis added}.:

    1. Both of them give gone as the only past participle of GO, been of BE.

    2. be.[…] The primary sense appears to have been […] ‘to occupy a place’; (OED)

    3. be.[…] Idiomatically, in past, now only with perfect and pluperfect tenses, with to and a substantive, or infinitive of purpose: To have been (at the proper place)in order to, or for, the purpose of. […]
    I was yesterday to wait upon Sir Herbert […]
    I was to see the new farce.[…
    Have you been to the Crystal Palace? I had been to see Irving that night. (OED)

    4. to. […] Expressing simple position: At, in (a place) […]Gf. Ger. Zu Berlin, zu Hause. […]
    Were you ever to the Botanic Gardens? (OED)

    5. be […] 2f(1) : to come or go : JOURNEY <we will ~ on our way shortly><have you been home since Christmas> (2) : to make a stay : show oneself or be present < they will ~ in town all week><was your sister at the party last night> - not used in the present; use of the past tense followed by to <I was to town yesterday> often considered non-standard. G : to come around in due course often in following a schedule or appointd round – used only in perfect forms <has the postman been this morning> (W3rd)

    6. to […] c - used as a function word to indicate a place or a thing to which one goes for a temporary stay <has been ~ his uncle’s house once> (W3rd)

    Take the information there, stir well, and add a dash of the zest found in posts:#5 #23 #29 #33 #38. #45 #47 #51 and #52 and – I rest my case

    As my beloved Jane might have said, had she written about misunderstood been rather than Miss under-valued Bennet: It is a truth universally acknowledged,* that an assertion not in possession of evidence,* must be in want of one good argument.

    * Punctuation was not her strong point.


    Oxford English Dictionary (2nd Edition), (1989), Oxford, OUP.
    Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, (1961), Springfield: Merriam-Webster.

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    [...]fivejedjon,[...]from the very beginning, I knew that the battle over this issue between you and me (or between the ones on your side and on mine) would be unfair.
    How very true, engee.
    Last edited by 5jj; 05-Mar-2011 at 19:43. Reason: typo

  5. #55
    ronconi is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    As a native Spanish speaker, I might contribute the following considerations:

    To be = estar; been = estado
    To go= ir; gone = ido

    Has she been to Paris? = ┐Ha estado en ParÝs? = ┐Ha ido a ParÝs?
    Has she gone to Paris? = ┐Se ha ido a ParÝs?

    As you can see, "ha estado en" and "ha ido a" are practically synonymous in Spanish. Nevertheless, I would never, ever think of estado as a participle of ir. In my opinion, it is quite confusing to let idiomatic uses (semantics) alter or supplement the verb paradigms (morphology).

  6. #56
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    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    Good point.

    I agree.

  7. #57
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    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: 'Been' - past participle of GO?

    The situation with Spanish IS, however, a little more complex because of the difference between "estar" and "ser". Both, of course, are translated into English as "to be". I actually think that this supports your point about idiomatic expressions vs verb paradigms.

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