Suppose a father wants to know whether his son went to school today or not at 5 PM after school hours.

Is it correct to ask:

Have you gone to school today?

Because his father has seen his son? Is it better to ask "Have you been to school"? because “have you been to school” means that he has gone to school and come back.

Similarly, can the son say “I have gone to school today”? because the son is at his house at the time of speaking.

In order to avoid this confusion:

Is it better to ask

Did you go to school today?

since the response would be “Yes. I went to school today."?

I hope this is not considered off-topic or a duplicate of the previous posts because I showed a different context.


1 Answer 1


You are quite right! In order to avoid confusion, it would be appropriate to use the following phrase for the father:

Have you gone to school today?

In standard English, the word combination "to go to school" means to attend school in order to study. Saying "to come to school" does not imply any educational goal and "to be at school", which is your case, is ambiguous because it does not state the goal of being in the building either.

Now, let's think of a proper tense. The variant "Did you go to school today?" might be used in daily speech, but I am not sure if it is grammatically proper for use in formal writing.

Since "today" is not a finished period of time, we shall use Present Perfect to speak of any event that took place "today". That is why the usage of the above variant would be quite slipshod.

All in all, I advise you to make a research on the feasibility of the above variant, since my knowledge is limited at this point. Thank you for your question!

  • What is the use of the badges when the treatment to the members is very bad on this site which consists of some self styled grammarIan's and some proud and head strong editors . IF anybody considers the answers on this site correct, he will surely fail in the standard English exams such as TOFEL AND IELSTS. Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 15:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .