Using Went and Gone

REMEMBER:

GREEN for RIGHT
RED for WRONG

The SEED VERB of went and gone is the word go.

WHY IS THERE A PROBLEM?

Some people say:

I should have (should’ve) went home earlier.

instead of

I should have (should’ve) gone home earlier.

EXPLANATION OF RULE:

went is the stand-alone PAST TENSE of the VERB go, but it is wrongly used as a COMPOUND VERB when propped up by has, had and have

gone is the PAST PARTICIPLE of the VERB go and needs another VERB to prop it up to form a COMPOUND VERB — the usual support VERBS are has, had and have

USAGE:

The following sentences concentrate on the COMPOUND VERB has / had / have gone only and not on the stand-alone VERB went. Usage of went as a stand-alone VERB does not present as a problem.

He has went there before.
He has gone there before. (He’s gone there before.)

She could’ve went too.
She could‘ve gone too. (could’ve = could have)

I’d went to Dublin on an earlier train.
I‘d gone to Dublin on an earlier train. (I’d = I had)

Paul has went to the cinema a few times this month.
Paul has gone to the cinema a few times this month. (Paul’s gone…)

We hadn’t went home by midnight.
We hadn’t gone home by midnight.

QUICK REVISION:

went doesn’t need to be propped up by has, had & have

It’s a stand-alone word.

EXAMPLE: I went home.

But if a support VERB is included in order to make a COMPOUND VERB, then went changes to gone.

EXAMPLE: I had gone home. (had is written in green to re-emphasise that these two words go together)

Learning Tip: The alarm bells should be ringing once you say had. In alphabetical order, g comes immediately before h.

Reverse the order as a way of remembering the correct wording, if unsure as to whether to use gone or went after has / had / have. So, g h becomes h g. (h represents has / had / have and g stands for gone).

TEST:

Write gone or went in the following sentences:

1. My cousin has ______ to school.
2. My cousin _________ to school.
3. Jamie had _________ up the steps before his brother.
4. Jamie _________ up the steps before his brother.
5. Chloe hasn’t ______ to the library.
6. Chloe _____ to the beach.
7. We haven’t _______ away yet.
8. They had______ shopping.
9. I was told that the children had _______ to the theatre.
10. She has ______ too.
11. Tony has _____ to the concert.
12. Mary has_____ to the party.
13. Donal had _____away before the argument started.
14. Pat has ______ to the hotel.
15. Caroline has_____ to bed.
16. I’ve ______ there on my own a few times.
17. She’s ______ to two Premier League matches so far this season.
18. He’d _______ there before either of you ______ there.
19. I _________ there before either of you had ______ there.
20. We were told that we’d ____ too far when we _____ over the bridge.

ANSWERS:

1. gone 2. went 3. gone 4. went 5. gone 6. went 7. to 17. gone 18. gone / went
19. went / gone 20. gone / went

KEY ELEMENT OF LESSON:

gone must be used alongside has, had and have.

went must not be used alongside has, had and have.

SEPARATION of the two VERBS in the COMPOUND VERB:

The focus of this lesson has been on using has, had and have in supporting gone – and not went – when forming the COMPOUND VERB and ensuring that the two parts of this COMPOUND VERB are positioned (or even glued!) next to each other. Be aware however, that the two VERBS in the COMPOUND VERB can be separated. Take note though, that went is still a no-no.

Examples:
  • When a question is asked:

Has Mary gone yet?
Had John gone home before closing time?
Have the children gone too?

  • When a CONJUNCTION is omitted from a sentence for the sake of convenience, a re-arrangement of some words is necessary:

If I had gone to Dublin for training, I probably would have been selected.

When the CONJUNCTION If is omitted, a re-arrangement of I had gone is required.

Had I gone to Dublin for training, I probably would have been selected.

DON’T FORGET:

I should have gone home earlier. (have gone = h g = Alphabetical Order in Reverse !)

REMEMBER:

GREEN for RIGHT
RED for WRONG


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