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  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #31

    Re: I have been here twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    I would say: I have been here twice(once before).
    'Now' is missing after 'twice' above. See below.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'd say either "I've been here twice now" (the "now" provides the relevant information), or "I've been here once before".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #32

    Re: I have been here twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    'Now' is missing after 'twice' above. See below.
    Haha, yes, we should say 'I have been here twice now' if you are still in New York and you visited it once before.

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    #33

    Re: I have been here twice.

    I thought it is understood that the present tense refers to "all that happened up to now". Do we have to state that again?
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #34

    Re: I have been here twice.

    The word 'now' makes it clear that it is different from 'before'.

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    the present tense
    It should be the present perfect tense.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #35

    Re: I have been here twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If I were in Beijing right now, I had previously visited once, and someone said "How many times have you been to Beijing?", my natural answer would be "This is my second visit". If I had to use your construction, I'd say either "I've been here twice now" (the "now" provides the relevant information), or "I've been here once before". Both of those make it clear that there has been one previous visit.

    I would say that if you are currently here​, you can't make the simple statement "I have been here [number of times]" - you need one of the extra words I indicated above.

    Please see above.

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    #36

    Re: I have been here twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodgers white View Post
    I have to say sometimes there are so many exceptions in the English language, which really drives me mad.
    It is not really that there are so many exceptions in this type of situation. It is simply that it is not possible to say that 'I have been to ...' can be used of only one precisely defined situation and 'I have been in ...' can be used only of another precisely defined situation. Each can be used of a range of similar situations, and there is a certain overlap. Also, I might use one form and my wife might use another. There is rather more freedom in how we use tenses/aspects than many learners and some teachers believe.

    I might well have said these things when I was in China some time ago:

    (May 1 - May 8: My first visit to Beijing)

    April 20
    I have never been to Beijing.
    I have never been in Beijing.


    May 1
    I have never been to Beijing before.
    I have never been in Beijing before.

    May 10:
    I have been to Beijing once.
    I have been in Beijing once.

    (June 1 - June 8: My second visit to Beijing)

    June 1:
    I have been to Beijing (once) before.
    I have been in Beijing (once) before.
    I have been to Beijing twice now.
    I have been in Beijing twice now.

    June 10
    I have been to Beijing twice.
    I have been in Beijing twice.


    You will note that I have said that both 'to' and 'in' are possible in all these situations. I would probably use 'in' only when I was actually in Beijing. Even then, I would probably still use 'to'. However, there are no absolute rules about this.

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    #37

    Re: I have been here twice.

    I might also have said:

    (May 1 - May 8: My first visit to Beijing)

    May 8

    I have been in Beijing for a week.

    I have been in Beijing since May 1.

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    #38

    Re: I have been here twice.

    Many thanks for your time and consideration. You have made everything crystal clear.

    And I also bear in mind that I can not say I have been here (number of times) if I am currently here in Beijing unless I use 'before' or 'now'.

    This is a very popular question that many of my students often ask. So, please allow me to express my sincerest gratitude for all the help you guys have given my students and me.

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    #39

    Re: I have been here twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodgers white View Post

    And I also bear in mind that I can not say I have been here (number of times) if I am currently here in Beijing unless I use 'before' or 'now'.
    You can.

    The only problem is that it will not be clear whether your current visit is included in the number of times you mention. This may not be important. If it is, say it in another way, for example, This is my third visit to Beijing/That was my third visit to Beijing.

    Try to get your students to understand that few single sentences always and exactly convey only one unambiguous message merely by use of tense/aspect, prepositions and/or adverbs. Context is always important.

  10. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #40

    Re: I have been here twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    You can.
    You can always say something unclear, but then the listener may have to ask a question, as I might ask you 'Are you still in Beijing now?' if you say the following without context:
    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I have been in Beijing once.
    I am not a teacher.

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