Have Went vs. Have Gone (A Carla Writing Tip)

Last Update: October 24, 2014

This one is going to be sorta kinda hard to explain without using complicated grammar texts that even I don’t fully understand. However, since I've been seeing a lot of this, both at WA and many other places, here goes.

I have went to the store.

Have the letters went out yet?

It's Gone, Not Went

I have gone to the store.

Have the letters gone out yet?

I’m really not sure where the confusion comes in on this one, but there is a lot of it out there.

Easy (I Hope) Explanation

Both went and gone come from the verb “go.”

Went is the past tense of the verb go, but it’s a stand-alone verb, which means it doesn’t need helpers.

Gone is the past participle** of the verb go and needs another verb to prop it up to form a compound verb. The most common support verbs are has, had and have. Went does not need the helpers.

That's about the best I can do on this one. Just bear in mind that if you type have went, you probably want went without the has, had or have or gone with the has, had or have.

**Per Merriam-Webster Online, a past participle is the form of the verb that "expresses completed action and that is one of the principal parts of the verb, as in raised in 'Many hands were raised' and 'thrown' in 'The ball has been thrown.'"

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mrpeter Premium
I do believe I'm okay on this one Carla... And if you point out a post of mine that proves me wrong, I'll hit myself over the head with Merriam Webster's.
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CarlaIves Premium
LOL, Pete! If you come out with this one, I'LL hit you over the head with the M-W. :)
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sage1954 Premium
i loved your article!! It has always bugged me when people say "I have went". Even the other way "I have gone" sounds funny. Thanks again, Carla for your grammar lesson, always appreciated
Wendy :)
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CarlaIves Premium
You're welcome, Wendy!
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Moonrock2 Premium
Good blog! Now I have to go!
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CarlaIves Premium
Thanks!
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Kingfisher Premium
Yaaay!! I love the fact that you recognize the importance, and feel the beauty, of the language. Live long and prosper Carla!
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CarlaIves Premium
Thanks! You can't beat the editor out of me at times. LOL
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Kingfisher Premium
If anyone ever tries, just let me know! :-))
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Loes Premium
I saw your blog and went straight to it, and now I am gone get some coffee to digest it:)
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CarlaIves Premium
Funny girl! Your English is quite good for someone who didn't grow up speaking it, Loes.
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Loes Premium
Thank you for the compliment
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