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  #1  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:00 PM
Jinx Jinx is offline
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Grammar: Would have went? vs. gone?

It's amazing how many people say "would have went" when the correct phrase is "would have gone". But, what actually makes the latter phrase technicaly correct over the first? Must be something about ...subjunctive future-past conditional blah blah blah verb tenses, right?
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2006, 01:16 PM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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The modal verb "have" as used to form tenses is to be preceded by past participle, which is "gone" in the case of "to go." You can't add an imperfect form ("went") to it.

In many cases, notably the regular verbs, the imperfect and past participle forms of English verbs are the same (I dreamed vs I have dreamed), but in many irregular verbs you see the difference between the two (eat-ate-eaten, do-did-done etc).
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:17 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx
It's amazing how many people say "would have went" when the correct phrase is "would have gone". But, what actually makes the latter phrase technicaly correct over the first? Must be something about ...subjunctive future-past conditional blah blah blah verb tenses, right?
"Gone" is the past participle. "Went" is the simple past. The "have/had" verb constructions (perfect tenses) take the past participle.
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:18 PM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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Of course "have" is to be followed, not preceded, by the past participle. And please excuse my miscodings.
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:21 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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I don't hear "would have gone" much, but I sure do hear "have ran" and "would have ran"

"Would have gone" is correct because it's a past participle phrase. But given the continuing simplification of English, it's not surprising that many people mix up the past perfect and preterit forms, and they will probably merge and become the "correct" form in the future. Interestingly, it's not always the preterit form that wins out; sometimes the participle form starts replacing the preterit.
  • go - went - gone becoming go-went-went; preterit winning out
  • run - ran - run becoming run-ran-ran; preterit winning out
  • but sink-sank-sunk giving way to sink-sunk-sunk; participle winning out
  • and stink-stank-stunk giving way to stink-stunk-stunk; participle winning out
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:02 PM
Bytegeist Bytegeist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitte
In many cases, notably the regular verbs, the imperfect and past participle forms of English verbs are the same (I dreamed vs I have dreamed) ....
You picked an interesting but odd example though, since the irregular form "dreamt" is still in common use, both as the imperfect past and the past participle. You could even mix them up in your speech, if you were eccentric enough.
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:10 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx
It's amazing how many people say "would have went" . . .
Or worse, "would of went," or worse still, "woulda went."
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:36 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
Or worse, "would of went," or worse still, "woulda went."
There's nothing wrong with saying "would of went" as you're actually saying "would've went." "Woulda" is just a further spoken and sometimes written contraction of this. I have no problem with "woulda" in extremely informal writing (e.g. emails, chats, etc.)
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:37 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell
There's nothing wrong with saying "would of went" as you're actually saying "would've went." "Woulda" is just a further spoken and sometimes written contraction of this. I have no problem with "woulda" in extremely informal writing (e.g. emails, chats, etc.)
Sorry, of course I meant "would've gone" and "woulda gone."
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:45 PM
Shrinking Violet Shrinking Violet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
... but I sure do hear "have ran" and "would have ran"
This sounds wrong to me - I'd say:

I have run 20 miles

If I'd stopped half way, I would have run only 10 miles.

Is this incorrect ... or a Britishism?
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:38 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrinking Violet
This sounds wrong to me
I think SoP agrees that it's grammatically wrong---it should be "have run", etc., because "run" is the past participle---but he hears a lot of people saying it anyway.

IME British English doesn't tolerate using the finite past tense where the past participle is required, but some Brits doubtless do it anyway, just as some Americans do.
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2006, 11:28 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitte
In many cases, notably the regular verbs, the imperfect and past participle forms of English verbs are the same (I dreamed vs I have dreamed), but in many irregular verbs you see the difference between the two (eat-ate-eaten, do-did-done etc).
English did use to have a regular past participle prefix 'ge-', which became 'y-' by Chaucer's time, and then disappeared in the next century or so, just as I've come across some German dialects that have also lost it.

Regarding sink-sank-sunk, my own internal and completely nonprescriptive grammar suggests that this is a transitive/intransitive difference.

"You sunk my battleship!" (transitive --sounds OK to me)

but

"The battleship sank." (intransitive, 'sunk' sounds wrong to me)
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2006, 12:08 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
But given the continuing simplification of English, it's not surprising that many people mix up the past perfect and preterit forms, and they will probably merge and become the "correct" form in the future. Interestingly, it's not always the preterit form that wins out; sometimes the participle form starts replacing the preterit.
Shouldn't that movie have been "Honey, I Shrank The Kids"?
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