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    #1

    Been to/in?

    Hi everyone,
    The other day I came across a sentence that set me thinking and I would appreciate the knowledgeable opinion of a native speaker:

    Suppose Tom is in New York and is planning a trip to London. A few days before leaving, he might say something like:

    'I've never been to London. I'm so excited, I can't wait to get there...'

    Once in London, what would he say?

    'Oh, I'd never been to/in London before and I'm loving it....'

    Does the preposition change depending on where you are?


    Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Been to/in?

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Hi everyone,
    The other day I came across a sentence that set me thinking and I would appreciate the knowledgeable opinion of a native speaker:

    Suppose Tom is in New York and is planning a trip to London. A few days before leaving, he might say something like:

    'I've never been to London. I'm so excited, I can't wait to get there...'

    Once in London, what would he say?

    'Oh, I'd never been to/in London before and I'm loving it....'

    Does the preposition change depending on where you are?


    Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    In context of your sentences, ' Oh, I had never been to London before....' or 'Oh, I have never been in/to London before.....'

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    #3

    Re: Been to/in?

    Sorry bhaisahab
    I didn't quite catch the meaning of your explanation.

    Could you let me know which preposition you would use in the second sentence

    'I'd never been to / in London before...' (= it's my first time here)

    considering that this sentence is uttered by someone who is IN London at the time of speaking.
    Thank you


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    #4

    Re: Been to/in?

    In New York:
    I've never been to London before.

    You arrive in London, and until you are at least back in Terminal 5 ready to board the plane back to New York - (or perhaps better, actually on the plane) - it remains:
    I've never been to London before.

    It's only on the plane home - or the moment when your perspective is that you have departed London and the trip is over that it becomes:

    I'd never been to London before.


    Do you understand why?

    As to the preposition, it remains 'to' - from the moment you first had the idea, "I've never been to London before.......hmmmmmm....."
    ........ till your return to New York.........till you croak.

    but on your second trip, you might say:
    I've/I'd never been in London before when the London Marathon was on. (saying this because the marathon is on.)
    (Of course, the use of 'never' is a bit of an exaggeration, giving the impression that Old London Town is a pied--terre for you.)
    Last edited by David L.; 01-Mar-2009 at 14:52.

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    #5

    Re: Been to/in?

    Hello David
    I would have stuck to the preposition TO in all of the examples you provided had I not come across a sentence that made me start to wonder. Evidently it was similar to the last example you mentioned:

    'I'd never been in London before when the London Marathon was son'.

    Thank you very much again for your enlightening explanation....
    W.

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