Avoid Misusing the Words Go, Went, & Gone

go went gone when to use what tense in English

Are you going? Did you go? Who went with you? Know which word is correct to use when you’re coming and going in English!

When learning English as a second language, one of the most common grammatical misuses comes from the verbs go, went, and gone.

Unlike every other English verb except be, the simple past tense of go is not etymologically related to its infinitive, instead the simple past tense of go, went, descends from the Old English word wend. Why it may not make sense when learning English as a non-native speaker, the use of these verbs happen frequently in conversation, making it significantly beneficial to learn how to use the verbs go, went, and gone, properly.

Go – The present tense form of the verb displaying that the act of “going” is happening now.

Used in a sentence:

I go to the grocery store twice a week.

I’m going to the mall today if you would like to join me.

My brother goes to church every Sunday. 

Went – The past tense of the verb which means the act is finished and over with.

Used in a sentence:

I went to Disney World for vacation last summer. 

My friends went to the movies and recommended the movie.

My daughter went to the beach last weekend and had a great time. 

Gone – The past tense of the verb that is only used after the words have, has, had, is, or any form of the word be.

Ex. Had gone, has gone, is gone, have gone, will be gone, are gone, were gone, am gone.

Used in a sentence:

I had gone to the gym by myself, as my friends were all at work.

Everyone thought the cold weather would be gone by now. 

All the cookies from the party are gone.

Using the verbs go, went, and gone properly is important in being understood in English and is the difference between sounding like an American and speaking English correctly.

It’s important to never use went after has, had, is, have, will be, are, or were, as it is grammatically incorrect.

Working on mastering the use of these verbs in English initially is a lot easier than trying to re-learn proper English later down the line. For additional help and practice, the 7-day FREE TRIAL with Pronunciation Pro is available and can help prepare you with the basics of these verbs alongside the 3-month online pronunciation class.