1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Has gone <vs> Is gone

Discussion in 'English Only' started by SandroIlSardo, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. SandroIlSardo Junior Member

    Alghero
    Italy Italian
    Hi WR,
    I found a similar thread in the topic's list but I still can't see any difference between:

    E.g. "She has gone" and "She is gone"

    I've even tried in my english books and dictionaries but I'm still missing the point!

    Thanks
    Regards
    Alessandro
     
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    She has gone.
    Normal use of past tense of the verb go.
    Focus of attention on her going.

    She is gone.
    Unusual, poetic if not archaic, use of gone (participle) as an adjective.
    Focus of attention on the fact that she is no longer here.

    Did you find this thread?
    To be with past participle - I am gone, I am come
     
  3. SandroIlSardo Junior Member

    Alghero
    Italy Italian

    I'll have a look now.
    Thanks you're helping me a lot today.
     
  4. dn88 Senior Member

    pl
    She is gone can simply mean that she is dead.
     
  5. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    I think I should insist that we're dealing with "she's gone" as a standalone phrase, without any complements (eg, she's gone away or she's gone to the cinema are outside the scope of this post).

    In this case, you can't see any difference in meaning because there is none really. Or maybe one that is ever so subtle.
    She is gone = she's no longer here
    She has gone = she has left.
    Same result but with a slight shift of emphasis.

    I might be more likely to say she has gone, when the subject is she because I'd want to emphasize the fact that she went away, that she left me (if that were the context).
    But I'd very naturally say "it is gone" for, eg, a wart I had on my hand that disappeared overnight.
    Or I'd actually say it's gone, but thinking it is gone.
     
  6. Rana_pipiens

    Rana_pipiens Senior Member

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    USA / English
    Yes, there is a difference in meaning.

    She has gone means "she went someplace." The destination usually is either specified or understood.

    She is gone means "she isn't here," and no destination or new location is specified (at least, not as part of that phrase). Sometimes there is no destination (as with the wart example).

    In some contexts they can be used interchangeably. If asked, "Has she left yet?" one could reply either, "She is gone," or "She has gone."

    "To be gone" with a destination specified is mostly archaic usage (although still used in phrases like "he is gone to Heaven"; religious language usage in general tends to retain archaic forms).
     
  7. fairchild New Member

    Mandarin
    I am still not sure hoe to distinguish from had gone, has gone, is gone, will be gone to were gone, especially when each of them is connected with a subordinate sentence. Here are the examples I got.

    1. He had gone when I arrived home. --> Should it be: He had gone when I have arrived home. Which is correct? It appears to be that he has already left the house before I got back home.

    2. My cell phone is gone, and I can't find it. --> It just doesn't sound correct to me. How should I correct it?

    3. After I come home, my jeans are gone. --> It just doesn't sound correct to me. How should I correct it?

    4. While they were gone to the shop, help me to wash my car. --> Should it be: helped me to wash my car?

    Thank you
     
  8. Rana_pipiens

    Rana_pipiens Senior Member

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    USA / English
    Your use of is gone or has gone in these examples is okay. I've marked other problems.

    1. He had gone when I arrived home.:tick: -->
    He had gone when I have:cross: arrived home.
    It appears to be that he has already left the house before I got back home.:)

    2. My cell phone is gone, and I can't find it.:tick:

    3. After:cross:
    When:tick: I come home, my jeans are gone.

    4. While they were gone to the shop, [subject is needed] help:cross: me to wash my car.
    ... my brother helped:tick: me to wash my car.
     
  9. fairchild New Member

    Mandarin
    thank you for your help, it is very helpful : )
     
  10. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    In speaking, how common is the contraction "she's gone" used, in which "she's" may mean "she is" or "she has" ?
     
  11. Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Very common. It could mean either, but usually "she has", because we say "she has gone" much more often than we say "she is gone".
     
  12. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    There is no way of discovering this information; to obtain it we would have to ask, each time we heard it, "What do you mean? Has or is?" Which isn't practicable.

    However, if we assume that the difference is the same as the use of "is gone" and "has gone" which is shown in THIS Ngam. To show the overall use, you can compare that with THIS Ngram which shows the uses of "she is gone,she has gone,she went,she goes"

    From the first Ngram, we see "she is gone" declining from 1810 to 1920 - I suspect this is caused by Victorian literature's decline, which revelled in the death of daughters and wives. "O she is gone! A short life but one that brought much pleasure to all around her..." etc.
     
  13. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    What do you mean by "isn't practicable"? People don't really ask or care about whether it is "has or is"? How often would you hear the contraction form as in "she's gone"?
     
  14. Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    sun, that's an impossible question. I've already told you it's very common. What answer do you expect? Three times a day, 47 times a week, 349 times a month, 29,352 times a year?
     
  15. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    Sorry for not making the question clear. I would expect the answer as two out of ten native speakers probably using it, or one out of ten times when this context comes up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  16. Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Sun, it is very common. That means most people will use it, and most of those use it most of the time, whenever they say "she's gone to the shops" or "he's gone to the pub" or "little Johnnie's gone to school".
     
  17. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    In speech, native speakers overwhelmingly use contractions. So you will hear "she's" instead of "she is" or "she has" almost all of the time.

    "She is/has" with a strongly-pronounced "is/has" is the exception, and not the rule, in speech.

    Also note that AE uses "She is gone" more often than BE.
     
  18. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    So most of the time native speakers don't distinguish between "she is gone" and "she has gone" , though these two sentences have subtle different focuses. Is that correct?
     
  19. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    That does not logically follow.

    Most of the time native speakers pronounce "she is gone" and "she has gone" in exactly the same way. That doesn't mean that native speakers do not or cannot distinguish "she is gone" and "she has gone."

    "You" and "ewe" both sound the same in speech, but all native speakers know the (very significant) difference between them.
     
  20. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    How would you tell the difference if something is heard in exactly the same way?
     
  21. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Context?

    Are there not homophones in Chinese?
     
  22. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    So, it is up to the listener to interpret the sentence based on the context?


    Chinese is a totally different language than English. Any language has its own way to avoid ambiguity.
     
  23. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Yes. That's the case with all sentences, and (I think) in all languages.

    And it shouldn't be particularly difficult to figure out whether "is" or "has" is intended.
     
  24. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    Speaking personally, I would never say "she is gone", whereas I might say "she has gone" (although I would very rarely use this uncontracted version in speech). Therefore, when I use the contraction "she's gone", it can only mean one thing in my case. Because that is how I speak, I would automatically 'hear' anyone else's contraction as meaning "she has gone".

    As a matter of interest, would many native speakers use the uncontracted ("she is gone") version in modern speech?
     
  25. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
  26. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    My belief is that "She is gone" is a vastly American turn of phrase. I'm not surprised that it seems foreign to BE speakers.

    "She is gone" means something like "Whatever happened to her, we can never get her back." Maybe she's dead; maybe she's just broken up with you.
     
  27. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Hullo, everyone.

    "He's gone" [S + Be + Gone (especially in its contracted form)] means that S is not here at present. Obviously S is not here as a result of having gone away some time before what is the here and now of the interlocutors.
    My impression is that this "structure" is alive and well, as is witnessed by the "more complex" forms:

    1. How long is he been gone (now)?
    2. When you wake up tomorrow morning, I'll have been gone for at least a couple of hours.

    GS :)
     
  28. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    As a BE speaker, I have to say that the first of those sounds totally wrong to me, whereas the second is perfectly normal usage, even here in England.
     
  29. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    "How long is he been gone?" sounds wrong to me, too. I think it's because it is wrong. It has to be "How long has​ he been gone?"
     
  30. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I agree with The Prof: In 1. above the structure of is followed by been gone is not idiomatic English. Question 1 might be asked of a colleague in a collaborating company, at a business meeting for example, when asking about the ousted/departed CEO.

    Cross posted...
     
  31. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    So sorry. Of course what I wrote is wrong: what I meant was "...has been gone", as perhaps can be inferred from the presence of "have" in the more articulated Future Perfect in the second example.

    GS
     
  32. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    1. Context.

    2. Experience.

    3. Expectation. If Andygc said "She's gone," he (being British) would probably mean "She has gone." If I heard him say that, though, I (being American) would assume he meant "She is gone," because I do not say "She has gone."
     
  33. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Scenario: the movie "Nightfall", the most recent in the 007 series, featuring Michael Craig and Xavier Bardem — and superb Lady Judy Dench as "M" — in the leading roles.

    (87th minute from the start).

    Ex-MI6 agent Silva (Xavier Bardem) manages to escape from the glass cage where he'd been confined and kills a couple of guards for good measure.
    James Bond (Michael Craig) arrives on the scene of the killing and sees that Silva has disappeared.

    James Bond: "He is gone!".

    I believe this to be a precious example for EFL teachers and students and I'm more than glad to share it with all foreros.

    Best.

    GS :)
    PS I think Craig/Bond speaks British English — and a rather good variety of RP, at that.
     
  34. velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, "she is gone" suggests she has vanished unexpectedly. It would especially be used of someone who can't go of their own accord.: "She's gone down the road"="she has gone", but "the woman was lying dead on the floor and now she's gone"="she is gone".

    I think it's for this reason that we're more likely to say of an inanimate object "it is gone", than of a human. It suggests a state of being gone, rather than a deliberate movement.
     
  35. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    It's quite a big deviation in the usage of "she is gone" and "she has gone", isn't it?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  36. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I hear lots of AmE speakers use "She's gone (home)" at the end of the work day as a contraction of "She has gone (home already)" - often in response to the question "Where is she?". In that context, no-one wuld interpret it as "She's dead" In contrast, in a hospital here someone is on the verge of death and a friend arrives asks "How is she?" someone might say "She's gone" meaning she just died. Context ....
     
  37. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member


    I don't have access to the film to check this out for myself, but the question that immediately springs to my mind is, are you absolutely sure that James Bond is saying "He is gone", rather than, "he's gone"? In my mind, the two would sound almost identical, so are you sure?

    Please understand that I am not trying to be awkward here - it's just that I am having trouble imagining Bond, or indeed any British speaker, using an uncontracted "he is gone", or even "he has gone".
     
  38. skymouse Junior Member

    central London
    English - London
    Ok. These are my observations on some of the several (unrelated) matters mentioned so far.

    1. The form "she is gone" for the present perfect is obsolete except in poetry. Today we would say "she has gone" for the present perfect.
    2. In present day English, the word gone in "she is gone" is an adjective describing the person's state (not their action that achieved that state!). "She is gone" means "she is no longer here", "she has disappeared/vanished/escaped", "she is dead", "she is no longer in a relationship with me" etc.
    3. The contraction "she's gone" can be used for both "she has gone" and "she is gone". In some caes, the context dictates that only one meaning is possible. In everyday use, "she's gone home" can only mean "she has gone home" (because "she is gone home" is an archaism). "Sir, I just checked her cell and she's gone!" almost certainly means "she is gone". In other cases, the clues are less blatant. In a few cases, it might be uncertain which meaning is intended, but I'd wager that in those cases guessing the wrong meaning will not cause any great error in understanding.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  39. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    Not if I had said it! As "she is gone" isn't something I ever say, it would not have occured to me to interpret it that way. But that must just be me. Either way, I agree with you about guessing the wrong meaning not causing any great error in understanding. :)
     
  40. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 73)
    UK English
    As pointed out by skymouse, she is gone = she is no longer here.
    I am reminded of the poem about the mother bathing her baby (or Your Baby 'As Gorn* Dahn** The Plug-'Ole), which includes the lines:

    She was but a moment, but when she looked back
    Her baby was gawn* and in anguish she cried
    'Oh where is my baby?' The Angels replied,
    'Your baby has gone down the plug-hole.'

    (
    http://monologues.co.uk/musichall/Songs-W/When-Mother-Washing-Baby.htm)

    * gawn/gorn=gone
    ** dahn=down
     
  41. leopold.lukas New Member

    German
    One idea coming from the comparison of English with the other two germanic languages, German and Dutch:

    In German, we use both "sein" (to be) and "haben" (to have) to form the present perfect tense. "Sein" is used with all verbs that signify a "mutation" (thus they're called "mutative verben"), meaning a change of their nature or appearance in some way, and also a change of location. "Haben" (to have) is used with all verbs signifying action, and also reflexive verbs. It's the exact same with Dutch.

    So my bet is that sentences like "She is gone" are relicts from the time when all the germanic languages where still more or less the same, and that these sentence constructions emphasize the "mutation" or "change" of somebody or something.
    For example: "She has gone" = Emphasis on how she ACTED: "She actually walked away from here, or took a cab, or whatever"
    "She is gone" = Emphasis on the fact that she "changed": "She changed in the peculiar way that she's not here anymore".

    other example: "She has changed" = Emphasis lies more on the process of changing, like "She actively changed her behaviour, her appearance, etc"
    "She is changed" = Emphasis lies more on the fact that she is different now, and it's more or less uncertain if she changed through active behaviour on her part, or if she was influenced by someone or something else.

    Notice that the perfect tense with "to be" is similar to the passive present tense. I guess that's the reason why you nearly never hear it in spoken language.
     
  42. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    What do you mean by "Bond" here?

    What you are saying is that British speakers would not use the uncontracted "she is gone" or "she has gone"?
     
  43. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    Why doesn't the WRF dictionary include "no longer present" as a definition?

    gone /ɡɒn/vb
    • the past participle of go
    adj (usually postpositive)
    • ended; past
    • lost; ruined (esp in the phrases gone goose or gosling)
    • dead or near to death
    • spent; consumed; used up
    • informal faint or weak
    • informal having been pregnant (for a specified time): six months gone
    • (usually followed by on) slang in love (with)
     
  44. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I presume the format of the dictionary has that meaning under the entry for go (verb) :
    When you have departed, you are no longer present.
     
  45. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    ... unless you have returned as many times as you have departed.

    At least in AmE, if you have returned after the last time you went, we can still say you have gone, but we would not say you are gone. Saying you are gone is saying you are not present, and several of the figurative meanings of the adjective "gone" are extensions of this basic meaning.
     
  46. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    Is there any example to be given?
     
  47. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    When you (have departed) [verb], you are (no longer present) [adjective].

    I would expect the adjective to be defined, as well as the verb.
     
  48. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Hence my conclusion on how the dictionary is formatted :D
     
  49. LVRBC Senior Member

    English-US, standard and medical
    We can tell by the context.
     
  50. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Hullo, The Prof. :)

    As often — too often, sometimes — happens with SKY programming on our TV's, last night they broadcast the 007 movie again, ie for the third time in one week.
    I seized the opportunity to watch the famous scene again and I can say that the sentence is "He is gone".
    I've been in the English-teaching profession for decades now and I think I can perceive the subtle difference in vowel length between /hiz/ and /hiɪz/. Besides, reasonable evidence that Bond/Craig pronounced the latter is given by the English subtitles, which clearly read "He is gone" (my bold, of course).

    All the best.

    GS
     

Share This Page