I would really appreciate it if you could help me with the following sentences:

  1. How many times have you gone to the gym this month?
  1. Have you ever gone to a game?

I have double checked the explanations available on the most reliable sites I know, but I fail to understand why these sentences read "gone" instead of "been".

  • Welcome to the site Elisa! Please edit your question to tell us what you did find on those websites and why you didn't find it helpful. There's no sense in telling you the same things as those websites if they didn't work for you before.
    – gotube
    Nov 7, 2021 at 15:28
  • I think this question is valid and I can understand why explanations are not so easy to find.
    – Lambie
    Nov 8, 2021 at 16:15

2 Answers 2


go, went, gone

We say go to games in English, for attend a sports match and go to many other places.

I've gone to many basketball games in my life. But I didn't go to the one yesterday.

be, was, have been.

You can also say: to be at a game. It means: to be present at a game. I won't be at the baseball game today, but I've been to games in the past.

This is really six of one, half a dozen of the other. They both basically mean the same thing.


Go to is a normal, neutral phrase: it can be used in any tense, and in most tenses it does not imply that the person has or hasn't returned:

I am going to school.

She went to France

They may go to the cinema.

But in perfect constructions (in any tense), gone to usually implies that the person hasn't returned:

She's gone to school. (implies she is still there)

They had gone to France. (implies they had not, at that time, come back)

I may have gone to the cinema when you arrive. (implies I will still be there).

If you want the sense of "gone and come back" in a perfect construction, then you usually need to use the idiom have been.

She's been to school. (implies she has come back)

They've been to France. (implies they have come back)

I may have been to the cinema by the time you arrive. (implies that if I do I will return before you arrive).

You cannot use this idiom (*be to) in any non-perfect tense:

*I will be to France.

*She was to school.

*I may be to the cinema.

are all ungrammatical (marked by the *)

So in your examples, been would be possible, and to my ear more natural. Gone is possible, though, because they are not talking about specific occasions, but over a period of time, and whether or not you came back is not relevant.

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