How can I ask someone if I want to know whether they went to some place? Which of the two sentences is correct? And is there a difference between the two?

"Did you go to ABC before?" "Have you been to ABC before?".


1 Answer 1

  • 'Did' - is the simple past referring to a definite, completed action in the past that has no relation to the present.
  • 'Have' - is the perfect, which also refers to a definite, completed action in the past, but which has a relation with the present.
  • 1
    You would ask: "Did you go..." about a particular occasion or event. e.g. "Did you go to the concert last night?" You would ask: "Have you been....." in a general sense. "Have you been to France?" Nov 15, 2016 at 11:32
  • Just to add an additional nuance. "Did you go?" asks only about going, so it could apply to going and not returning. "Have you been?" recognizes that the person is not there now and asks whether they ever went and returned in the past.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 20, 2017 at 16:26
  • Say someone tells me that at some point this week they have to go to London for one or two days and come back. A few days later I see them again and I want to find out whether they did that yet. What tense is more approiate?
    – Daniel
    Oct 29, 2020 at 0:07
  • 'Have you been to London?' (Sounds too general), 'Have you been to that meeting in London?' (Sounds better if qualified with some details); 'did you go to London like you said you would?'. How would you ask this type of question?
    – Daniel
    Oct 29, 2020 at 0:09
  • 1
    @Daniel You can ask it as a separate question if you want an answer. In general I would go something like, eh, "Did you take that trip to London like you said you would?" or "So did you go London?" or even "So how was it in London?" - implying that I am assured they did go. Oct 29, 2020 at 3:29

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