Never Write the Phrase ‘Have Went’

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By Jason Boog Comment

For our first Grammar Public Service Announcement of the new year, we have some deceptively simple advice: Stop writing the phrase “have went.”

Never write a sentence like this: “I have went to my local independent bookstore.” Instead, always use this construction: “I have gone to my local independent bookstore.”

English Plus has a great post on the technical reasons: “Gone is the past participle of to go. Used as the verb of a sentence, it must always be preceded by an auxiliary verb such as has, have, had, is, am, are, was, were, be, or one of their contractions. Went is the past tense of to go. It never takes an auxiliary verb.”

We Write for You offered some dramatic reasons to stop making this mistake: “Maybe writing ‘have went’ cost him a fellowship here or a promotion there. He’ll never know. An employer just passed him by, not knowing he’s a very bright guy making one very bad grammatical error.” (Image via zugaldia)

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