been/gone through


Senior Member
Hi there everybody!

I have a question. When you talk about you past experiences in general can you use either been through or gone through?

Ex: 1) I have been through a hard time lately
I have gone through a hard time lately.

2) I can't believe you are giving up on me after all we have been through.
I can't believe you are giving up on me after all we have gone through.

Thanks heaps.
  • Rana_pipiens

    Senior Member
    USA / English
    Have gone through is more common for external trouble ("The hurricane survivors have gone through a lot") and have been through for internal struggles, either mental or relationship ("She's been through a lot with him; he can be awfully difficult").

    In Pair #1, either would work (see the above comment about the nuances, however -- have I been depressed, or did I have financial trouble? (these are of course not mutually exclusive)). In Pair #2, been sounds more appropriate to the context -- in fact it's a cliche (50K hits for "after all we have been through"; 26K for "after all we have gone through").

    To be is less commonly used for this idiom in other tenses. In fact, in some tenses, to be through carries an entirely different meaning. For instance,
    -- "We go through this every time." We endure this each time.
    -- "We are through the worst of it." The worst is done with.
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