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They should have paid attention in English class

Posted by Maria Murnane | August 21, 2012

The NFL is just around the corner, and I can’t wait! At one of many games I watched back in January, the commentator offered a candid opinion on why a certain team had lost so many games throughout the season: He thought it was the quarterback’s fault. In fact, he said something along the lines of this: “With a different quarterback, this team could have went far.”

As soon as the word “went” left his mouth, my football brain left the room, and the grammar police took over.

The past tense of the verb “to go” is conjugated as follows:

  • I went to the movies.
  • You went to the movies.
  • He/she went to the movies.
  • We went to the movies.
  • They went to the movies.

However, the present perfect tense of the same verb is as follows:

  • I have gone to the movies.
  • You have gone to the movies.
  • He/she has gone to the movies.
  • We have gone to the movies.
  • They have gone to the movies.

The pluperfect (or past perfect) tense is as follows:

  • I had gone to the movies.
  • You had gone to the movies.
  • He/she had gone to the movies.
  • We had gone to the movies.
  • They had gone to the movies.

Could have gone, would have gone, and should have gone are all correct conjugations as well, as in could have gone far.

Some people clearly weren't paying attention in grammar class...

That famous commentator isn’t the only public figure to commit this offense. Earlier this year I read a quote from a baseball player who thanked his fans “for supporting me through everything I’ve went through over the last couple of months.” Yikes. Then, a few months ago, I heard a celebrity judge on a reality show open her comment on an aspiring singer’s outlandish outfit with this grammatical gem: “If she would have came dressed…”

If more of these celebrities had paid attention in English class, I could have gone to sleep early last night instead of staying up to write this post!

-Maria

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2012 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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