What’s the best present you’ve ever received? On 20 Sept. 2011 my son Matthew was born …. on my birthday!!!! That’s the best present (by a million miles) I have ever had. And you?
Notice the signal word here? ‘Ever’ meaning at any time in your life – your life started in the past and continues up to today. The question, therefore, “Have you ever been to New York?” literally means “have you ‘at any time in your life’ been to New York?”
Now this is where the confusion starts – how do you answer it?
Some make this mistake: “I’ve been to NY in 2008.”
- (“Yes, I have*”),”I’ve been to NY” (with NO specific / named past time
- (“Yes, I have*”), “I went to NY in 2008” (with specific / named past time =simple past).
- (“No, I haven’t.*”), “I’ve never** been to NY.”
*I always suggest giving the short answer and adding to it if necessary.
** the negative of ‘ever’ is never ‘at NO time in your life:
Then there is also sometimes confusion why we say ‘been to’ instead of ‘gone to’ from ‘go’ to NY. ‘Been’ is used always used with the idea of going and COMING back. Check out
“Where’ve you been?” = You are here now!!! but where did you go?
“Where’s Dave gone?” = He isn’t here now!!! Where is he/where did he go?
Have you ever left a comment below? What better time to start as now! What’s the best present you’ve ever received? Go on I’d love to hear your story.
ever, (jeweils), confusion (Verwirrung), to suggest (vorschlagen), to add (hinzufügen), if necessary (wenn nötig)
Have you ever thought about buying a grammar book to train & test your English grammar?
Try the red beginner’s book (German Edition), blue intermediate book or the green advanced book.
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