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I am confused between

He is gone out

and

He has gone out

Translation of both, the sentences mean the same. Can anyone explain which one should i use.

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  • We don't normally say "He is gone out." in English. The helping verb is "have"/"has".
    – Lorel C.
    Mar 13, 2019 at 17:55
  • @Lorel C but the meaning of both are same. Then how would I know which one should I choose?
    – Imtango30
    Mar 13, 2019 at 17:57
  • He is gone out is archaic. You will find many examples of it in Early Modern English texts, such as the King James Bible. Anybody who uses it today is being deliberately archaic.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 13, 2019 at 18:00
  • "He is gone" can mean that he is "out of his mind". Mar 13, 2019 at 18:04
  • He is gone; he is come. I use them from time to time. I would call these a bit old-fashioned rather than "archaic". Mar 13, 2019 at 19:39

1 Answer 1

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"He is gone out" is not idiomatic English. It treats "gone out" as an adjective or other description of state. This is not usual.

"He has gone out" is normal present perfect construction. It is saying that, at some point in the past, he went out. Usually, this means he's not in at the moment, though it will occasionally be used when he's already come back - though "he has been out" is more usual, then.

Both contract naturally to "he's gone out", which may be a source of confusion.

If you want to use a descriptive present tense to describe his state, given that he's gone out, you use out as an adjective: "he is out", or contracted to "he's out".


n.b.: You will find "he is gone out" and similar constructions, using is instead of have for the present perfect, in older texts. It was once a normal thing, but hasn't been for some time.

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  • "He has gone out" can also mean that he is not here right now.
    – anouk
    Mar 13, 2019 at 18:39
  • @anouk: yes, quite frequently that's what it's used to mean. Even usually. It's literal meaning is that he went out. You wouldn't usually say it if he'd also come back (though sometimes you would).
    – SamBC
    Mar 13, 2019 at 19:07
  • Maybe emphasize that "has" is the regular auxiliary verb in any perfect-tense construction. "Has spoken", "has gone", "has written", "has had".
    – tripleee
    Oct 7, 2020 at 4:09

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