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

roxanelag

Senior Member
Spanish-Spain
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
    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
    “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
    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
    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
    “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
    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
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I'm off to whip my back in penitence penance for this... sin.

    And a little extra whipping.:);)
     

    roxanelag

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    I'm off to whip my back in penitence penance for this... sin.

    And a little extra whipping.:);)
    Haha! Another mistake! No more English for today. ;)
    Haha! What a Monday?
    That 'penance' is written down, Kentix.
    I appreciate your help. :)
    Have a nice one
    Cheers
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I messed up, too. I tried to say "Add a little whipping." but I think autocorrect got me.
     

    roxanelag

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
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