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Grammar tip: Have GONE, not have WENT

Posted by Maria Murnane | May 25, 2015

The other day my mom, from whom I inherited my attention to grammar, sent me an email with a subject line that said “THIS CAN’T POSSIBLY BE RIGHT, RIGHT?”

I clicked to open the attachment, which was a photograph of a newspaper article about a sports team. The article said that “the team had sort of went down the drain over the season.” Wow. I can’t believe grammar that bad made it to publication in a major newspaper, but that’s another story.

Here’s how the verb “to go” works:

PRESENT TENSE: I go to the store.

PAST TENSE: I went to the store.

PRESENT PERFECT TENSE: I have gone to the store.

PAST PERFECT TENSE: I had gone to the store.

Under no circumstances is it appropriate to say “I have went to the store” or “I had went to the store.” Unfortunately, however, I’m starting to hear this usage more and more, just as I often hear “I” used when “me” is correct. (Click here to read my blog post on the difference between “I” vs “me.”)

This may seem like a minor error, and you may be wondering why I’m so hung up on grammar, but I’m not the only person who cares about it. (My mom does too! Ha.) The truth is that to a trained ear/eye even small errors jump out and overshadow everything else, and you don’t want that to happen. In last week’s post, I gave an example of the impact a minor error can have. Whether it’s your manuscript, your author bio, your book description, or any of your other marketing materials, it’s important to keep them free of errors so your readers can focus on the most important thing: the content.

-Maria

 

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

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