Conversation between A and B:

A: I came to your home yesterday.You were not there.Where were you?

Now, which of followings will be best reply by B.

1.I had gone to my uncle's home.

2.I went to my uncle's home.

3.I went to my uncle's home yesterday.

There is much better answer possible than above,but to understand tenses properly,i want to distinguish them.

  • More naturally, you'd say I was at my uncle's. But in general, you'd be better off using the simple past in this situation. Dec 16, 2017 at 14:19
  • @CookieMonster yeah, but I want to understand tenses properly.So ,which do you think is best?
    – ashish7249
    Dec 16, 2017 at 14:22
  • As I said, in this situation, the simple past. Dec 16, 2017 at 14:27
  • @CookieMonster But I think past perfect exactly indicates that at time of friends' arrival,he was not present.May be ,his friend came in morning and he went to uncle's home in evening,using simple past will not indicate that.
    – ashish7249
    Dec 16, 2017 at 14:35
  • @ashish7249: The particular scenario you've described won't shed much light on the subject.
    – TimR
    Dec 16, 2017 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


The past perfect and simple past are correct but mean different things. Please consider the following situations:

1) When I came to your house yesterday, you had gone to your uncle's house. [At the time I went to your house, you had gone to your uncle's house, before I arrived.]

2) Question and Answer: When I came to your house yesterday, you were not there. Where were you?

Answer: I had gone [I'd gone] to my uncle's house. [same explanation as 1)]

compare that to: 3) When I came to your house yesterday, you went to your uncle's house.

Here, the meaning is very different: It means that when "I came to your house", "you went to your uncle's house" at the time I arrived at "your house".

[please note: we would say your house here rather than home. Home is used in the expression to go or come home or at home, but otherwise we say house unless we want to differentiate it from, say, the office, temple or church.]

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