1. Someone came, so I hid. I think they're gone now.

  2. Someone came, so I hid. I think they've gone now.

  3. Someone came, so I hid. I think they've left now.

Do all these sound natural? Which is the more natural one in the context?


(2) is the most natural. If you saw someone's presence as a threat, it would be more idiomatic to say 'they've gone' than 'they've left'.

They are gone would have been acceptable two or three centuries ago, but is now archaic.

  • +1 Good answer. It's also important to point out "be gone" sounds like they are dead. So yes out of context, (2) is the most natural. – Alex TheBN Feb 24 at 3:56
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    @AlexTheBN - To 'be gone' can mean to be dead, but that isn't necessarily the primary meaning. – Kate Bunting Feb 24 at 9:08

All three of these sound natural to me. As for which is most natural, I would rank them as 3 sounding the most natural, 1 the second most natural, and 2 the least natural. They all sound natural though, so if you were to use any one of these three it would sound fine.

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