EN: I haven't been to visit you

okgoogle

Senior Member
French - France
Bonjour,

Est-ce que cette formulation est correcte :

"I know I haven't been to visit you."

Il s'agit d'une personne gênée de ne pas être venue voir quelqu'un depuis un bon moment.

C'est un dialogue de film (Wiener Dog) d'une jeune femme qui se reproche de ne pas être venue voir une connaissance plus âgée depuis plusieurs années.
Mais est-ce que cette formulation en anglais
"I know I haven't been to visit you."
est grammaticalement acceptable et est-ce qu'elle a bien le sens que j'ai donné ?
Merci.
 
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  • Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    It's fine.
    That sentence is grammatically correct and perfectly natural. You've also understood it correctly.
    Why did you think it might not be OK?
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    I see. So, you thought that 'been' was an auxiliary verb and you were expecting it to be followed by a participle e.g. 'been visiting'. In fact, 'been' is the main verb - not an auxiliary verb - and here it used as a the past participle of the verb 'go'.

    The phrase here is 'go to visit':

    I go to visit you - present
    I went to visit you - past simple
    I've been to visit you - present perfect
    I haven't been to visit you -present perfect (negative)

    I hope that helps.
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    I think the confusion comes from the main verb: to go or to be. If the phrase in the present is I go to visit you, the corresponding phrase in the present perfect should be I've gone to visit you, not I've been to visit you. ;)
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    What exactly do you mean by should be?

    Are you suggesting that the person should have said "I know I haven't gone to visit you?" :thumbsdown:
     
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    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    I was not saying the right phrase should have been I know I haven't gone to visit you, because it indeed doesn't make much sense.

    I'm just saying that the verb to go conjugated in the present perfect is I have gone, not I have been. The latter is actually the verb to be conjugated in the present perfect. I was therefore merely pointing out the inconsistency in your post since you mixed both verbs: to go for the present and simple past, but to be for the present perfect.

    I go to visit you - present
    I went to visit you - past simple
    I've been to visit you - present perfect
    I haven't been to visit you -present perfect (negative)
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    I wasn't 'mixing verbs'!

    The verb 'go' has two alternative past participles : gone and been.

    I can assure you that there was nothing at all 'inconsistent' about my post. The present perfect of "I know I didn't go to visit you" is "I know that I haven't been to visit you".
     
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    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    Fair enough.

    I wonder at what point the maîtres of bygone days stopped complaining that people were "mixing" the verbs 'go' and 'wend'. ;)
     

    okgoogle

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Voilà c'est ça mais je pensais que pour le sens de go, been ne pouvait être suivi d'un verbe mais d'une place.

    I have been to Paris. Ok
    I have been to visit you. Non ok (je pensais).

    Mais apparemment, on peut mettre une place ou un verbe, à vous lire.

    Merci.
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    Yes, I see what you mean.

    I think that there might be a place implied in this construction. If you imagine that there's a location sous-entendu - i.e. "I haven't been [here] to visit you" - then it makes more sense. The 'been' refers to the implied place, while the 'to visit' is an infinitive of purpose: your reason for going to that place.

    For example, you might say:

    I've been to have my hair cut.
    I've been to see the head teacher.

    In those cases, there's clearly a place implied: the hair salon and the school. I think that "I haven't been to see you" follows the same pattern.
     
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    okgoogle

    Senior Member
    French - France
    I think that there might be a place implied in this construction. If you imagine that there's a location sous-entendu - i.e. "I haven't been [here] to visit you" - then it makes more sense. The 'been' refers to the implied place, while the 'to visit' is an infinitive of purpose: your reason for going to that place.

    Ok merci, et avec l'ensemble des posts précédents, je vois qu'il n'y a pas de maladresse à mettre un verbe.
     

    M. Parker

    New Member
    Anglais Britannique
    "I know I haven't been to visit you." is perfectly correct, but a lot of people would say "I know I haven't been to see you."
    "Visit" is a bit more formal (at least in my view - I'm a northerner!)
     

    Le Gallois bilingue

    Senior Member
    English (U.K.)
    "I know I haven't been to visit you." is perfectly correct, but a lot of people would say "I know I haven't been to see you."
    "Visit" is a bit more formal (at least in my view - I'm a northerner!)
    Totally agree with you; I was just about to make the same point(a “Gog”=North Walian).
     

    Hans in Texas

    Senior Member
    US English
    To be + infinitive used to indicate purpose or obligation:
    I am to be in court on the 15th (I must appear or be arrested).
    They were to arrive at 3 o’clock (it’s 5 now, so where are they?).
    We’ve been to visit the museum, and they have a new Van Gogh (we went there for a purpose: seeing the new painting).
     
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