Joe asks me: "Do you often go to the cinema?"

I reply: "No, I have not been to the cinema for a long time"

This is correct.

But can I say:

"I have not gone to the cinema for a long time"

  • 1
    As long as you're not standing right in front of the Cineplex gone is fine to me.
    – shawnt00
    Jan 6, 2016 at 22:46
  • The correct way to reply would be, "I have not gone to the cinema in a long time".
    – user28532
    Jan 7, 2016 at 0:24
  • downvotes for no valid reason? Not fair. +1 as it makes a valid question.
    – Maulik V
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:04

2 Answers 2


I have not gone to the cinema in a long time
I have not been to the cinema in a long time
I have not seen a movie in a theatre for a long time

All have basically the same meaning that you have not seen a movie, eating popcorn and drinking soda, in a building for a while.

The present perfect is used since it was a situation which began in the past and continues

  • 1
    I agree with Peter but since he has offered alternative phrasing I would like to just point out that most conversational English speakers will tend to use contractions ("haven't" -vs- "have not") and also frequently use "the movies" instead of "the cinema". Thus: "I haven't been to the movies in a long time." would also be an acceptable conversational English phrasing.
    – O.M.Y.
    Jan 7, 2016 at 4:36
  • @O.M.Y. +1 I was staying in line with the OP not using contractions
    – Peter
    Jan 7, 2016 at 4:45
  • 1
    Understood, I just think it is helpful to occasionally provide some informal / conversational usage versus "stiff" formal usage so that ELL's can recognize when spoken English may be different from the written form.
    – O.M.Y.
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:13

(Please note: This answer has an American English bias.)

A natural response would be

No, I haven't been in a long time.

You could also use gone.

Notice: in a long time. This seems more likely here, although there's nothing wrong with for a long time.

I wouldn't repeat cinema in my response. But if I wanted to include the destination in my response, I would rarely say cinema (which is more characteristic of British English).

In the US, movie theater is probably more used more often than cinema. But in American English we would most likely say

No. I haven't gone to the movies in a long time.

The movies is the usual expression used in the US to mean cinema. See Why do you say "to the movies"


"Movies" vs. "Cinema" vs. "Theater" -- what's the difference?.

You must log in to answer this question.

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