Three years ago I was to/in Germany on a cultural exchange.

roxanelag

Senior Member
Spanish-Spain
#1
Hi everyone, how's it going?
I am studying for my C2 exam (future C2 exam), and I've come across this sentence in an exercise:
- Three years ago I have been to Germany on a cultural exchange.
I correct the tense 'Three years ago I was to Germany...' and that's it. However, shouldn't the preposition 'to' change into 'in': ... I was in Germany?
Talking about my current location, I would say, 'I am in Spain, at the moment.' Am I right here?

Can you help me out with this question?

Thanks in advance.
Have a great day!
Cheers
 

entangledbank

Senior Member
English - South-East England
#2
Yes, when it means "go (have gone)", it can only be perfect "have been": I have been to Germany. You can't say :cross:I was to Germany. But when it contains a time phrase, you can't use perfect, so yes, it needs to be 'in', and it doesn't mean "went to", it means simply "was in".
 

lingobingo

Senior Member
English - England
#3
“I was to” is wrong, because the verb “to be” is a linking/stative verb (denoting a status, not an action) and therefore does not fit with the preposition “to”, which suggests movement so is usually preceded by a dynamic verb, such as “go”.

I went to Germany :tick: / I was in Germany :tick:

I was to Germany :cross: / I went in Germany :cross:
 

Loob

Senior Member
English UK
#4
Hi roxanelag

I think the exercise-setter expected you to change "I have been" to "I went" rather than "I was". That way, you could leave the preposition unchanged:).
 

roxanelag

Senior Member
Spanish-Spain
#6
Hi roxanelag

I think the exercise-setter expected you to change "I have been" to "I went" rather than "I was". That way, you could leave the preposition unchanged:).
You are right, and I'm feeling a bit stupid now.
It's quite easy to make a stupid mistake when you are not completely focus on what you are doing.
Thanks to you all for your time and great explanations.
Have a great day.
P.s: I'm off to whip my back in penitence for this... sin.
 

roxanelag

Senior Member
Spanish-Spain
#7
“I was to” is wrong, because the verb “to be” is a linking/stative verb (denoting a status, not an action) and therefore does not fit with the preposition “to”, which suggests movement so is usually preceded by a dynamic verb, such as “go”.

I went to Germany :tick: / I was in Germany :tick:

I was to Germany :cross: / I went in Germany :cross:
Thanks a lot, lingobingo.
Cheers
 

roxanelag

Senior Member
Spanish-Spain
#8
Yes, when it means "go (have gone)", it can only be perfect "have been": I have been to Germany. You can't say :cross:I was to Germany. But when it contains a time phrase, you can't use perfect, so yes, it needs to be 'in', and it doesn't mean "went to", it means simply "was in".
Thanks Entangledbank. Let's see if a coffee perks me up and this doesn't happen again.
Cheers
 

roxanelag

Senior Member
Spanish-Spain
#13
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