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  1. #1
    musicgold is offline Senior Member
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    Default Have you been to the gym?

    Hi,

    I am not sure which one of the following sentences is more appropriate when I want to ask a person whether she is coming back from the gym. If none, please suggest a few.


    1. Have you been to the gym?
    2. Were you in the gym?
    3. Did you go to the gym?

    Thanks,

    MG.

  2. #2
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Have you been to the gym?

    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    Hi,

    I am not sure which one of the following sentences is more appropriate when I want to ask a person whether she is coming back from the gym. If none, please suggest a few.


    1. Have you been to the gym?
    2. Were you in the gym? In this one, we generally say were you at the gym? If you say "in the gym" it would indicate that the "gym" is just one part of the building, and you meet the person in another part of that building.
    3. Did you go to the gym?

    Thanks,

    MG.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Have you been to the gym?

    Exactly! If the gym is in the building or on the campus where you're asking the question, it's "in the gym."

    Likewise, if you're talking about a larger place that includes a gym, like a school, you'd say "in the gym":

    Were you in the cafeteria when you saw her, or were you in the gym?

    But if the gym is simply somewhere else, it's "at the gym":

    I spent the morning in the park and the afternoon at the gym.

  4. #4
    musicgold is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Have you been to the gym?

    Thanks folks.

    1. Have you been to the gym?
    I am still a bit confused with the 'have been' sentence, because I have seen people using it in sentences where they really mean 'have you ever been to...'

    For example,
    Have you been to the kitchen (here)
    Have you been to New York.

    However, in my sentence I was just asking her where she was a while ago.

    Thanks,

    MG.

  5. #5
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Have you been to the gym?

    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    Thanks folks.

    I am still a bit confused with the 'have been' sentence, because I have seen people using it in sentences where they really mean 'have you ever been to...'

    For example,
    Have you been to the kitchen (here)
    Have you been to New York.

    However, in my sentence I was just asking her where she was a while ago.

    Thanks,

    MG.
    If the event (e.g., go to the gym) is in focus, then use the present prefect (e.g., have been):

    Sam: You look as if you just worked out. Have you been to the gym?
    Pat: Yes. I had a great workout, thanks.
    If time is in focus (e.g., awhile ago), then use the simple past:

    Sue: Where were you awhile ago? Did you go to the gym?
    Pat: Yes. I was at the gym.

  6. #6
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Have you been to the gym?

    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    I have seen people using it in sentences where they really mean 'have you ever been to...'

    For example,
    Have you been to the kitchen (here)
    Have you been to New York.
    The events are in focus here, not when the events took place:

    Ex: Have you (ever) been to the kitchen / New York?
    => I'm not interested in when you were there. I want to know if you have been there or not.

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