alive or deceased?


Is the following information true?

Quote from the video:
If you talking about someone still alive: My uncle has gone to NY 5 times. If you are talking about a deceased, then use simple past: My uncle went to NY 5 times. When you use 'went' it means your uncle no longer exists.

I can't post video, where I learned this information. Such are forum rules.
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    There's no grammatical rule about people who are alive or dead. It's just the ordinary meaning of the perfect tense ('has gone'). It talks about what has happened up to the present. Until now, he has gone to New York five times. If he is still alive, he might go again tomorrow.

    If he is dead, he can't go any more. So all of his five times are in the past, and are finished. So we use simple past because the whole thing (he went to New York five times) is completely finished.

    If my uncle is still alive but old, I can say he went to New York five times as a child. He is no longer a child; he can't go to New York as a child any more, so I use simple past 'went' for this: his going to New York as a child is completely finished, it is not until now.


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If your uncle is not alive, you should use the past tense.

    However, it doesn't follow that if you use the past tense, your uncle is necessarily no longer alive. You could be referring to a specific period of your uncle's life when he lived in America (eg 'My uncle lived in America in the 1980s, and he went to New York 5 times. He now lives in Italy').

    < Previous | Next >