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They have gone to Malta before

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Pirulo1234, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Pirulo1234 Senior Member

    Spanish
    Hi! What do you think about the following sentence?:

    "The Johnson family went to Malta last summer; they have gone to Malta before".

    I think that, after comma, the sentence would be "they had gone to Malta before" (ellos habían ido a Malta antes) or even "they had already gone to Malta before".

    What do you think?
     
  2. donbill

    donbill Senior Member / Moderator

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    I agree with you! They had gone to Malta before is better. They went to Malta last summer, and their previous trips there had occurred before last summer. "Before" and "already" mean essentially the same in this context. I would use just one of them, not both.

    Un saludo
     
  3. PichaPuerto

    PichaPuerto Senior Member

    Hello

    They had/have been to Malta before/previously.

    Been "Gone and come back"
     
  4. donbill

    donbill Senior Member / Moderator

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    Agreed; completely accepted. The use of present perfect (have + participle), They have been there before, seems to me to connect the travel contextually to the present. They went there last summer and had gone there before strikes me as completely past, with no connection to the present. It's a small difference, but precise language use consists of just such small differences. I think it depends entirely on what we want to express.

    Cheers!
     

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