Have you ever been skiing? / Have you ever gone skiing?

fd_reiser

Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello, once again, guys,

A brief question here.

Which sentence would a native English speaker use:

"Have you ever been skiing?" or "have you ever gone skiing?"

Thanks for helping.
 
  • conduit_girl

    Senior Member
    English- United States
    haven't read the other thread, but the first sentence has the sense of going on a trip to go skiing, whereas the second sentence just means have you ever performed the action of skiing.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I haven't read the other thread, but the first sentence has the sense of going on a trip to go skiing, whereas the second sentence just means "have you ever performed the action of skiing?"
    Have you by chance reversed the sentences? The meanings you ascribe to them are the opposite of what I would expect, but it is also possible that we see them differently. :)
     

    conduit_girl

    Senior Member
    English- United States
    No, I didn't reverse them... I asked my boyfriend what he thought the meanings of the two sentences mean and he agreed with me... so yes perhaps we see them differently. I think it's because you would also say "Have you ever been to Taos?" or something like that... or perhaps because "been" feels like it refers to a longer time period than "gone" does. I went skiing - bam, over and done. I have been skiing - on a trip that lasted two weeks.

    As a general point, I see you modified my response... am I expected to use perfectly correct punctuation/capitalization in my responses to threads?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    As a general point, I see you modified my response... am I expected to use perfectly correct punctuation/capitalization in my responses to threads?
    None of us is perfect, but to the best of your ability, yes, you are expected to. It is much more instructive and much less confusing for learners of English when we do.
     

    conduit_girl

    Senior Member
    English- United States
    Fair enough, I see the logic there and will abide by it. In the same spirit, although technically correct, I would advise against using "none of us is perfect" and would suggest instead the technically incorrect "none of us are perfect" since it is the vastly more common choice and sounds more natural to the American ear. Thanks!
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    We're hardly here to please the American ear. Or to criticize correct usage. Or to wander off-topic in threads devoted to a single question. You've been a member a long time but have only recently begun posting again -- please have a look at our forum rules: it's possible they have changed since you joined. (Rules)
     

    conduit_girl

    Senior Member
    English- United States
    JamesM: Yes, I will document the assertion: "none of us is perfect" yields "About 2,060,000 results" on google search, "none of us are perfect" yields "About 4,120,000 results." It is literally twice as common.

    Copyright: Of course I don't think the American ear should rule the English-speaking scene, and I retract that part of my comment on that basis. However, the frequency issue comes from a google search of English speakers worldwide, so the fact that "none of us are perfect" is twice as common worldwide argues in its favor. Moreover, there are many technically correct phrases that are eschewed because they sound unnatural, and in my opinion, learning what sounds natural to a native speaker is at the heart of learning a language. As Churchill once said, “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”

    I will re-read the rules now. Thank you for including the link.
     
    Last edited:

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    JamesM: Yes, I will document the assertion: "none of us is perfect" yields "About 2,060,000 results" on google search, "none of us are perfect" yields "About 4,120,000 results." It is literally twice as common.
    I wouldn't normally respond to something so off-topic, but it may be instructive for you and others if I share something I learned from the forum long ago about Google searches: rather than taking the big raw numbers you see at a glance, go down to the bottom of the page and click through to the last page of the results. When you do, you'll find these numbers:

    "none of us is perfect" – 550
    "none of us are perfect" -- 615

    No longer the 2-to-1 ratio. And even if it were 2-to-1, people are allowed to choose their own way of expressing things as long as it's correct.
     
    Last edited:

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I think we all need Big Brother's guidance from time to time. :) Anyway, I find conduit_girl's comment very interesting. (I have a feeling that she sometimes likes to use a diary style.)
    I'm not sure which sentences her answer refers to ( I got confused by the reverse order of "been" and "gone" in Cagey's link: Have you ever GONE/BEEN parachuting?). Here is how I understand it:

    1. "Have you ever been skiing?" -
    conduit_girl: the first sentence has the sense of going on a trip to go skiing
    I think it's because you would also say "Have you ever been to Taos?" or something like that... or perhaps because "been" feels like it refers to a longer time period than "gone" does. ... I have been skiing - on a trip that lasted two weeks.
    2. "have you ever gone skiing?" -
    conduit_girl: the second sentence just means "have you ever performed the action of skiing."
    I went skiing - bam, over and done.
    A more general question about outdoor activities, e.g. trekking, sailing, skiing, cycling, white-water rafting, is:
    Have you done any of the activities?
     
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    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Both alternatives are natural English and the meaning is equivalent.
    Think of the nursery rhyme:
    'Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?'
    'I've been to London to see the Queen'.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Both alternatives are natural English and the meaning is equivalent.
    Think of the nursery rhyme:
    'Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?'
    'I've been to London to see the Queen'.
    Could one also say:
    'Pussy cat, pussy cat, where has she gone?'
    'She's gone to London to see the Queen' (It doesn't rhyme any more.)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    No. In the original, the cat has obviously returned and is being intrerrogated, whereas in your example, the speaker is addressing themselves and an absent cat that is probably still in London with the Queen.

    [The door opens, in walks John]
    A: "Where has John been?"
    B: "He's been to see his aunt."

    [John cannot be found]
    A: "Where has John gone?"
    B: "He's gone to see his aunt (and has not yet returned.)"
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    [The door opens, in walks John]
    A: "Where has John been?"
    B: "He's been to see his aunt."

    [John cannot be found]
    A: "Where has John gone?"
    B: "He's gone to see his aunt (and has not yet returned.)"
    Thank you, Paul. I understand the distinction in your example. There are other situations, however, and then I'm not so sure. But I'm getting closer and closer to understanding the difference between "gone" and "been".
    No. In the original, the cat has obviously returned and is being intrerrogated, ...
    I understand the meaning and the situation.
    ... whereas in your example, the speaker is addressing themselves and an absent cat that is probably still in London with the Queen.
    This is almost exactly what I meant - I imagined there were two people:
    A: 'Pussy cat, pussy cat, where has she gone?'
    B: 'She's gone to London to see the Queen'
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In the nursery rhyme, the line 'Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?' is a question addressed to the cat, and the next line is the cat's answer.
    Compare:
    Mary: 'John, where have you been?'
    John: 'I've been to London for the Megabank AGM.'
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This is almost exactly what I meant - I imagined there were two people:
    A: 'Pussy cat, pussy cat, where has she gone?'
    B: 'She's gone to London to see the Queen'
    Where's the cat as this is being spoken?
     
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