Ep.2 English A Little: How to use ‘have been’ vs ‘went’

How to use ‘have been’

  • Unspecified time
  • You do not remember exactly when the action happened during the past
  • Use when the time point is not important than the action
  • Use it to describe your experience (time is not important)


  • I have been there before. (unspecific time)
  • I have been to Mexico.
  • I have been to Mexico two times. (unspecific time)
  • I have never been to Mexico.
  • I have been to Japan a few times. (unspecific time)

Specific time expressions:
one year ago
last week
when I was a child
when I lived in Japan
at that moment
that day
one day

How to use ‘went’

  • You know exactly when (specific time) that action happened in the past.
  • Though you might or might mention the time in the sentence (but you know when)
  • Use to describe a habit in the past but now it does not happen anymore


  • I went to Mexico last year.
  • I went to Japan last month.
  • I went to the football club after school. (telling the habit)


  • Last year ≠ in the last year
    • Last year (specific that is one calendar year before)
    • In the last year (some point between last year, unspecific day or month)
  • Same as
    • Last month ≠ in the last month
    • Last week ≠ in the last week
  • Unspecific expressions:
    many times
    several times
    so far

Ep.1 English A Little: How to use i.e. vs e.g.