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What is the correct grammar? He ___ (has/have) already ___ (went/gone) to school.

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Vikash Lata eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The correct sentence is “He has already gone to school.” It’s in present perfect tense.

Let's consider the grammar points governing the sentence.  

First, both “has” and “have” are auxiliary verbs; they've got no difference in their meanings and both of them are used to make present perfect tense. The difference lies only in their usage.

It’s a grammar rule that “has” always follows a subject that’s third-person singular, including he, she, it or any singular or uncountable noun. On the other hand, “have” is used only with a plural noun or pronoun, with the exception of “I” and “you.”

Here, the subject is “He,” which is third-person singular. So, it has to be followed by “has” and not “have.”

Second, in forming present perfect tense, both “has” and “have” are always followed by the past participle form of a verb. “Went” is the past form of the verb “go.” So, the question of using “went” after “He has already” doesn't arise at all. It has to be “gone.”

Besides, it must be remembered that one of the most important differences between simple past tense and present perfect tense is that we don’t specify the time of an action with present perfect tense; whereas with past simple, it's always indicated. When it’s not specified using any time expression, it’s assumed that the listener knows the time of the action or can make it out from the context.

Here, in the given sentence, the time of the action "go" is not indicated. Moreover, the emphasis is on the result of the action rather than on the action itself. Therefore, it would be grammatically incorrect to say "He already went to school." Instead, we should say, "He has already gone to school."

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The correct answer is “he has already gone to school.”  Let us see why this is the case.

First, we cannot use “have” with “he.”  “Have” is a verb that is only used when the subject is plural.  “Has” is a very that is used with a subject that is singular.  We could say “they have already gone” because “they” is plural, but we cannot say “he have already gone” because “he” is singular.  Therefore, we must use “he has” in this sentence.

Second, we cannot use “went” in this sentence because it is simply a past tense verb.  We cannot put the auxiliary verb “has” with a past tense verb.  Instead, we have to put it with verb that is in its past participle form.  “Gone” is in its past participle form so we must use it in this sentence.

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Inuk Lee eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a good question and one that is important. Let me give you the correct sentence first and then give to you an explanation. 

"He has already gone to school." 

The reason why "has" is correct and "have" is incorrect is because the subject is singular. A singular subject needs a singular verb. If the verb were "they," then "have" would be the correct form of the verb. 

The word, "gone" is the participle and it is used with the auxiliary word, "has" to create a perfect tense. The verb, "went" is just a simple past tense. Of course, the sentence could be written as "He went to school," but because the word "has" is present, you need the word, "gone," to complete the verbal idea.



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sweettestprep | Student

Many people confuse (or, as in this case, combine) the past tense with the present perfect.

The sentence should read as follows: "He (or she) has already gone to school."

Based on the choices given, the sentence should be written in the present perfect. As is the case with all perfect constructions, the last verb, which is the main verb, should be in the past particle form.

To conjugate the present perfect, use the present form of "be" for the subject (I have, you have, he/she/it/one has, we have, they have) followed by the past participle of the main verb (in this case, "gone" is the past participle form of "to go").

Part of what makes this question challenging for writers is common use. Many people use "have/has went" when speaking, particularly when discussing conditionals (such as "should have went"); however, this is non-standard use and incorrect in formal writing. It incorrectly uses "went," which is the simple past tense form of the verb "go." Another reason that this can be challenging is that for all regular and many irregular verbs, the past tense form of the verb is identical to the simple past tense form of the verb. (Both "he walked to school" and "he has walked walked to school" are correct. Both "I let the dog out" and "I have let the dog out" are correct. ) The distinction is only noticeable in irregular verbs for which the past tense form and the past participle form are different.

awishikha | Student
He has already gone to school.