Has gone vs. is gone

Discussion in 'English Only' started by remosfan, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. remosfan Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Do these actually mean the same thing? I can't think of a situation where I'd use "has gone" by itself, and I'm not sure it even has the meaning of "has left." I mean, if I started saying "She has gone," I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation of adding something along the lines of "away" or "out". Any comments?
  2. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Most of the time "she is/has gone" is used, the contraction she's is used, at least in the spoken language, so it's almost a moot point.

    "Are you planning on going to the exhibit? I've already gone." (That's AE, of course-- am I wrong in thinking a brit could also say "I've already done?")

    "She's gone crazy," of course, doesn't mean she is gone crazy, but I do realize you aren't talking about go as an auxiliary verb.

    "She's gone to the movies." To my ear, the ambiguity disappears when you add a modifying clause or phrase. You don't hear "she is gone to the movies, do you?"

    The uncategorical case of "being gone," without modifiers, is the only one where my ear picks up echoes of is as the intended auxiliary. Substitute the analogous verb come and it's obvious the trend toward have as the default auxiliary verb is just about complete.
  3. jacinta Senior Member

    USA English
    I think one of the problems in determining whether is or has should be used is that we normally say it in a contraction: She's gone to the store and will be right back.
    This would be, "She has gone to the store..." but could be also be she is gone.

    How's old Mr. Black? Oh, he's gone now (meaning he's dead). He's been gone for 3 years now. (adjective)

    I hate it that Sally is gone now. I miss her. Why did she have to move?(adjective)

    Where's all the cake?
    It's gone! Somebody ate it all! (adjective)

    I think it depends on how you are using the word gone, as a verb or as an adjective. Both can be correct.
  4. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    Yes Jacinta I agree -

    "The cars have gone" - verbal use "the cars have departed"
    "the cars are gone" - adjectival use "the cars are in the state of not being here" (maybe someone has stolen them!)

    cf "the shop has opened" "the shop is open" which is even more clear since we also switch between opened/open depending on verbal/adjectival usage.
  5. remosfan Senior Member

    Canada, English
    I guess it's just an oddity of my speech then. I would never say "The cars have gone", and even with foxfirebrand's example, I'd say "I've already gone to it", or choose a completely different verb like "I've already seen it."
  6. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    How is it an auxiliary here? It's the main verb.

    Could "gone" perhaps be considered an adjective in this case?
  7. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    I agree. I would say "The cars are gone" or "The cars aren't here any more."
  8. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    To me "go crazy" is a verbal phrase, like "put down." I know crazy isn't a verb, but to me that doesn't make go the verb, even though in other contexts of course it very much is one-- they don't get much verbier than go. I guess I don't feel the need, in a verbal phrase, to designate any one term of it as the verb.

    I relegate it to an auxiliary in a verbal phrase because to me it seems to work as one. "Going crazy" isn't an act of going, it's an act of madness or loss of temper-- and an acting out of same, therefore verbal. At any rate, it's about craziness, not going. Being crazy, doing crazy things-- those are about being and doing, arguably. Proof at least to me, that rules aren't real, and sometimes don't even rise to the level of the helpfully artificial.

    "Put down" is such a phrase, but not when it means "place somewhere." In that case put is verbal and down is adverbial. But if "put down" means to euthanize, then, at least to my ear and my sense of logic, down partakes of the verbal, and does not have ought to do with putting. The verbal phrase is about killing.

    I know my sense of grammar runs from autonomous to autocratic, and can be downright eccentric, and I agree that go isn't technically auxiliary and crazy, on its own, is by no stretch a verb.

    Yes, I think the gone in "she is gone" has become adjectival in modern usage, though it remains participial in, say, (KJV) Biblical usage.

    The "she's gone shopping" example is great, and it illustrates my point about how the implicit have emerges from obscurity the minute you add any kind of qualifier. Would you say "she is gone shopping?" Or worse, "we are gone shopping?"

    On the other hand, "gone fishing," that sign you see tacked up in the barbershop window-- doesn't sound too bad with an implied I'm. Hmmm..... Maybe it's cause that's where I am, as opposed to being in the barbershop, ready for customers.
  9. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    Fair enough. I follow your logic but a pure grammatical view would have rejected "go" as an auxiliary.

    Participles are by definition adjectives, so that the modern adjectival usage of "gone" in no way contradicts or undermines the Biblical usage.
  10. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Hmmm. "Arise and shine, for thy light is come."

    Or, "I am become Shiva, destroyer of worlds."

    Is come really adjectival in that? "Is come" is simple present-perfect tense in the Jacobean language of the KJV. Structurally it is a (past) participle, and "is come" is the present-perfect form of "to come." It's a completed action, but the completion is immediate (present).

    Confusing, I think, only because is is being used in the way has would be used nowadays.

    "Are you still busy?" "No, I'm finished." There my action isn't the issue so much as my state of readiness for something else. So finished, like busy, is adjectival.

    "I am finished" is adjectival because finished is an achieved state, not the kind of action implied by "I have finished." "There, I've finished it" is verbal (participial) and tantamount to saying "I did it." If you made same statement but dropped the direct object it, I guess you might raise a little grammatical dust, but not enough to cause confusion, to my ear.

    How about this-- even without a direct object, finished is a participle(verbal) because it refers not to me but what I've been working on. Maybe a verb that's retained archaic forms will make it clearer.

    Verbal participle: "I've struck, and I'll strike again."
    Adjectival participle: "I'm stricken. I'll never get over this."

    Struck and stricken are both participial forms of the same verb, both are in present-perfect constructions, but struck is clearly not adjectival in function.
  11. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    I never said participles were always adjectival in function. A participle is a verb form that can be, but not always is, used as an adjective.

    Thank you for the explanation, but the difference is crystal clear to me. :)
  12. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    hi i've got a question how it can be I hate it that Sally is gone now
    it must be I hate it that Sally has gone now,isnt it ??????

    because the meaning of this word means different meaning in adjective from that you said ....

    can you explain me please ... how you can say "I hate it that Sally is gone now" ???
    and i also dont understand the first example " she is gone to the store " how it can be with "is" ???

  13. Oros Senior Member

    She is gone. [ She is not at home. She has gone to school/work.]

    The cars are gone. [They were stolen last night.]

    I believe the above are colloquial. You and I don't write them in an official document or other type of documents.

    I would write this way when writing a picture postcard while holidaying in Spain.

    I would like to know when you use them. You are writing them in picture postcards, aren't you?
  14. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    "She is gone" and "the cars are gone" are perfectly fine sentences. A native speaker of AE would say them or write them, either informally or in formal writing of any kind.
  15. Param1911 New Member

    Mauritius Bhojpuri
    Thank you all. I must confess that I am still in the dark about when to use "is gone" and when "has gone". It is true that one always uses " he's or she's gone" in speech, but the problem I have is to tell my grand-daughter how to translate "il est allé" from French. In that language small number of verbs form their 'imperfect' tense with the verb to be and not the verb to have.
    I have googled "is gone" and "have gone" separately and got millions of examples in each case. Both are therefore usable. But I am not clear which to use when.
    Would welcome advice on this point. Thanks - Param1911

  16. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Let's try this.

    - If there's a complement - what FFB calls "a modifying clause or phrase" in his post #2 --, choose "has".
    She has gone to the movies.
    In blue is what I call the complement.

    - If there's no complement, both work. It then becomes a matter of emphasis.
    If you want to insist that she's no longer here, choose is (she is gone). If you want to stress the movement, choose has (she has gone)

    However, keep in mind that, most of the time, is or has is contracted, so that no one will be able to see or hear the difference. ==> She's gone.
  17. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
  18. Param1911 New Member

    Mauritius Bhojpuri
    I thank everybody for their interest in the problem. I have also visited the thread referred to by Thomas Tompion (see #17), which is most interesting. The reference to the OED article about the use of have and be in formation of perfect tenses, and I feel I am better informed. KRgds - Param1911

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