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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Use cases for "Have Been To"

    Hello.

    I am trying to wrap my head around when it is appropriate to use "have been to".

    It seems to indicate the person went to a place at some point in time, and came back. Is it implied the time is unspecified?

    Would it be incorrect to say "I've been to [the show] yesterday"? I was told it sounded wrong.

    There is a similar use case listed here:
    https://www.thoughtco.com/esl-have-g...longer%20there
    Ask Tom for some money. He's been to the bank today.
    Here, "today" serves the purpose of clarifying Tom should still have the money he got from the bank.

    What would be appropriate uses of "have been to" and a specific time? Are there cases where the phrase above might work?
    Last edited by Nevill; 21-Oct-2020 at 10:45.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    have been to

    Tom: Have you been to Canada?
    Ron: Yes, I have been to Canada.

    Tom: Have you been to Mexico?
    Ron: Yes, I have been to Mexico.

    Tom: Have you been to Europe?
    Ron: No, I haven't been to Europe.

    Those are examples of the use of the phrase "have been to". In the above sentences nothing is implied. Instead, everything is explicit.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 21-Oct-2020 at 10:51. Reason: Delete unnecessary sentence
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  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    to imply

    To imply something is to suggest something without explicitly saying it.

    **I'd been to a restaurant, so I wasn't hungry when he asked me out to dinner.**

    That implies that the person ate at the restaurant. (A logical assumption.) It also suggests that it took place fairly recently. (They weren't hungry.)
    Last edited by Tarheel; 21-Oct-2020 at 10:39.
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    #4

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    I may have been unclear. The question is explicitly about the usage of "have been to" in tandem with a specific time.

    I was told that "I have been to Canada last year" sounded weird, for example. Is it, and if so, why?

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevill View Post

    Would it then be incorrect to say "I've been the show yesterday"?
    Yes, it would. (See post #1.)

    Say: " I went to the show yesterday."

    (Note that I removed the brackets in your sentence. (Back soon!))
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    #6

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    Alright, but what makes it different from this one, which I was told is a correct usage?
    Ask Tom for some money. He's been to the bank today.
    Edit: the discussion from here
    https://english.stackexchange.com/qu...s-have-been-to
    gave this summary:
    • "have been to" = indefinite, previous time
    • "went to" = some particular time (inferrable from context)

    But there are also replies about it being possible to reply "in kind", and about "have been to" being a more personal way of saying "I went to", which is what confuses me.
    Last edited by Nevill; 21-Oct-2020 at 11:06.

  7. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    "Today" isn't over yet, so the present perfect is fine.

    (Edit)
    https://learnenglish.britishcouncil....resent-perfect
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 21-Oct-2020 at 11:12.

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    #8

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevill View Post

    I was told that "I have been to Canada last year" sounded wrong, for example. Is it, and if so, why?
    It seems wrong to me too. (If they want me to answer "why" questions they will have to pay me more. )
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    #9

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    Ask time Tom for some money. He's been to the bank today.

    That implies that Tom has money because he has been to the bank. (It's not necessarily true. He might have been there to make a deposit rather than a withdrawal.) It also implies that if you ask him for money he will give it to you if he has money.

    They probably devised those sentences to illustrate the usage of that phrase. But unless we know that Tom is a soft touch it doesn't follow that because Tom has money he will give it to you.
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    #10

    Re: Use cases for "Have Been To"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevill View Post

    Here, "today" serves the purpose of clarifying that Tom should still have the money he got from the bank.
    We don't know that. Tom might have spent the money in a fairly short time (assuming that he made a withdrawal).

    The only thing "today" tells us is that it (Tom going to the bank) happened recently (that day).
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