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Would it be correct to say: "He should have gone past that place, turned right, and gone to the pub." (when explaining that someone went the wrong way)? The verbs are homogeneous and thus I believe supposed to appear in the same form, but for some reason I have a feeling that it should be "...and went to the pub". I'm struggling to find the rule or at least examples of similar sentences.

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  • Both gone and went are grammatical, but gone is more common and idiomatic; it's also stylistically in parallel with the previous gone. You can mix them, but it's not done as often. – Jason Bassford Aug 18 '20 at 6:37
  • @JasonBassford If went is 'grammatical' in the example above, which grammatical construct does it form? Is it an unusual/unconventional form of past participle, or is it used as past simple, breaking the parallel construct? – Ilya Semenov Aug 19 '20 at 6:49
  • He went is very normal, but, here, you're correct that it would be breaking the parallelism of the sentence. – Jason Bassford Aug 19 '20 at 9:09
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This is an example of a parallel structure, where repeated parts of successive clauses are omitted. Here's what it looks like fully expanded:

He should have gone past that place,
[He should have] turned right, and
[He should have] gone to the pub.

It is now clear that the final clause cannot be

[He should have] went to the pub

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“Went” is the past and is also used as a past participle, but less often than “gone”. This means that “went” in your example would be grammatical but it does not mean that it would be optimal.

Your example has the structure “He should have A, B, and C. A, B and C are best as identical constructs, each using the past participle. “gone” is conventionally and more often used than “went”.

Consider “ He should have gone past that place, turned right, gone to the pub, and drunk a beer". This reads better than the slightly confusing mixed past and participle sentence “He should have gone past that place, turned right, went to the pub, and drank a beer”

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  • Can you please elaborate on "went" used as a past participle? The sources that I've read so far (e.g. english.stackexchange.com/a/249469/47102) say that this is indeed observed in wild but is not really considered 'grammatical' and more like regional dialects or even simply illiteracy. Is that how you would describe it, too? – Ilya Semenov Aug 18 '20 at 12:23
  • Provide some kind of support for the claim that he went to the store is less common that he had gone to the store. My intuition is that the reverse is the case. In fact, I'd say it's significantly more common an "optimal," barring the specific context of this sentence. – Jason Bassford Aug 19 '20 at 9:10
  • There is material about this in english.stackexchange.com/questions/342026/… – Anton Aug 19 '20 at 15:50
  • The google ngrams site tells me that "had gone" is used about 0.003% whereas "had went" is about 0.000007%. This reflects my own experience. "had went" is a construction with "went" as a past participle that I have particularly heard from the South-East of England. – Anton Aug 19 '20 at 15:55

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