Posted on Leave a comment

have gone & have been

I am frequently asked what the difference is between have gone and have been. Generally speaking, when we say, “He has gone to New York,” we mean he has left and is in New York now.  When we say, “He has been to New York,” we mean he went to New York and he is back now, or he has left and is not in New York.

Look at the following sentences.

  • She won’t be here tomorrow because she has gone on a business trip.
  • He has been to Hawaii twice, but he hasn’t been to China yet.
  • John has already gone to work, but he hasn’t been to the bank yet.
  • Where has David gone? (Meaning he is not here now).
  • Where have you been? (Meaning you are here now, but you were somewhere).

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Using Commas

When writing compound sentences, use a comma before the coordinating conjunction.

John went to the bank, and he went to the post office.

It was raining hard, but he stayed dry.

When writing complex sentences, use a comma when the subordinating clause is first.

Although the test was canceled, John still studied at the library.

Because the textbooks did not come, the test was canceled.

When the main clause is first, do not use a comma.

John still studied at the library although the test was canceled.

The test was canceled because the textbooks did not come.

Posted on Leave a comment

USING THE WORD “MAKE”

Look at the following examples using the word “MAKE.” In these examples “MAKE” means to REQUIRE, or even FORCE someone to do something.

  • Teachers often MAKE students put away their cell phones.
  • The police MADE the residents move their cars.
  • New policies will MAKE workers sign in when they start work in the morning.

Notice the sentence pattern: make + object + base verb form

Posted on Leave a comment

When to Use SHOULD, When to Use MUST

Should and must are modal verbs.

We use should when we want to give advice or warn against something.  Such as, “You should buy organic food.”

Notice that the modal comes just before the base form of the verb.  When we use the negative form to express warning, the adverb “not” comes between the modal and the verb.  Such as, “You should not use your cellphone while driving.”

Examples of should as advice:

  • You should help people who are in need.
  • Students should read everyday to improve their reading skills.
  • She should go to the gym this Sunday and get some exercise.

Examples of should not as warning:

  • You should not stay up too late at night.
  • We should not miss class.
  • You should not ride your bicycle on the sidewalk.

Must is a stronger word than should.  Therefore, we use it express necessity, or something that is absolute.  Let’s look at our examples again, but this time, let us use must instead of should.

Examples of must as necessity:

  • You must help people who are in need.
  • Students must read everyday to improve their reading skills.
  • She must go to the gym this Sunday and get some exercise.

Examples of must not as necessity:

  • You must not stay up too late at night.
  • We must not miss class.
  • You must not ride your bicycle on the sidewalk.