I am wondering which the sentence is correct:

  1. I have been to the US.
  2. I have been the US.

Sentence 1 is correct. You must use the preposition "to." Sentence 2, without the preposition, means you have literally been the United States -- that somehow you literally are the country. It doesn't make sense, even in informal usage or slang.

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  • One follow-up question, is "I have been in the US" correct? If yes, what would be the difference from "I have been to the US"? – dan Sep 13 '17 at 1:49
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    I have been to the US and I have been in the US mean basically the same thing. There may be a slight difference in connotation. To the US might suggest that you were visiting on vacation from another country, whereas in the US suggests that maybe you spent a longer period of time, perhaps residing in the US rather than just visiting. But like I said, the difference, if any, is minimal. – Ringo Sep 13 '17 at 1:57
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    For example, you could say I have been in the US for five years, meaning you have lived in the US for that long. But you can't say I have been to the US for five years. That doesn't make sense. – Ringo Sep 13 '17 at 2:00

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