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Following situation is given: Sue has been in France for the last three weeks.

I have to repeat this sentence using, "She went ...", I would say something like this:

"She went to France three weeks ago."

Is this correct?

Another one: "Do you often go to the cinema?"

"No, I haven´t gone to the cinema for a long time."

I used for, because its a period of time, and I used present perfect, because there is a connection to the present.

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    Those both look fine to me. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 14 '17 at 20:59
  • Yes, they are both right. There is also an implication that Sue is still in France. Did you intend this? Otherwise you should clarify by mentioning the duration or a verb indicating that it's over. "She went to France three weeks ago and really enjoyed it." – farnsy Dec 6 '17 at 5:45
  • For more colloquial speech you could say "I haven't gone to the cinema for ages". You could swap cinema for movies too. "I haven't gone to the movies in ages". In and for are both used here, I just prefer the sound of in with movies. – Daniel Jun 18 '18 at 12:11
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"She went to France three weeks ago." = went and three weeks ago are correct macthes. Past Simple refers to a completed action in the past. Your time expression "three weeks ago" emphasizes that it is a "past" action.

"No, I haven´t gone to the cinema for a long time." = For is the correct choice as you talk about a period which is Present Perfect. And your verb "gone".. it is not bad but I would say "been" there.

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Use since, when making references in time that have a definite point of origin; including dates, ages, time ( clock ). `

I have been waiting since 8am.

I have been waiting since this morning.

`

Use for when your reference isn't particular to any definite point in time.

I have been waiting for ever/ month/ years/ .....since last saturday.

How long have you been waiting for ?

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  • Yes, use since as a qualifier. "A lot has changed since you were here last." "Since you guys are here, you can help me shift this furniture." There's also an idiomatic expression "I haven't seen you since forever!" which means 'I haven't seen you in a long time'. – Daniel Jun 18 '18 at 12:02
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"has been in France for three weeks" does not at all mean the same thing as "went to France three weeks ago." The former refers to something continuous and continuing. The latter refers to a single event. "She went to France three weeks ago" could be true even if she was there for only a fraction of a second three weeks ago. "She went to France for three weeks" is closer to "has been in France for three weeks", but still isn't the same thing, first because the former doesn't tell us when she went to France or that she's still there and second because it limits her stay in France to three weeks. "She spent the past three weeks in France" would be better. But that's using "spent" not "went".

There's something else going on in this sentence. If you're expecting someone to return, and you know how long the person will be away, then "has been" tells you how much longer. If you're expecting someone to return, but you don't know when, then "has been" suggests uncertainty about how much longer. If you're wondering why you haven't seen someone around, then "has been in France for the last three weeks" is the reason.

I don't see any way to express the same meaning with "she went" and without "has been". If this is for an English course and you have an instructor who knows how to do this, I'd love to see your instructor's answer. Of course, the point may be for you to learn that it isn't possible. We have multiple tenses for good reason.

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