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Differences between...

 
 
Seizan
 
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 10:21 pm
What are the differences between the following? I give my best interpretation, but if in error, please advise:

Have you ever been to Canada? -- could be more business- or education-oriented?

Have you ever visited Canada? -- could be casual, as in going there to be with friends or relatives?

Have you ever gone to Canada? -- no idea.

Have you ever seen Canada? -- sort of touristy; have you ever toured and saw the sights?

All 4 have to do with being in a place and spending some time there, but those pesky students were asking me this morning what the differences were, and more than just personal choice diction, they want to know what they really mean, and why there are 4 (or more) ways to say the same thing...
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 10:52 pm
@Seizan,
Quote:
What are the differences between the following? I give my best interpretation, but if in error, please advise:


Have you ever been to Canada? A: It's asking a direct question whether the person you are asking ever visited Canada for whatever reason (business or pleasure).

Have you ever visited Canada? Same question.

Have you ever gone to Canada? Same question; asked with different words.

Have you ever seen Canada? One can "see" Canada through pictures.
the sights? Assumes the person has been to Canada. "The sights" is very broad. You may wish to be more specific by naming a location or places of interest such as Niagara Falls, Vancouver, or Quebec.

No errors that I can identify.

Seizan
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 11:37 pm
@cicerone imposter,
None of the statements are erroneous. The question is "what is the difference - why are these different?" We understand they seem to be much the same but different word choices. Problem with teaching English to Japanese students is that they ask WHY we have different ways of saying what appears to be the same thing...?

Been to, gone to, visited etc. may have originally had different intentions. We're trying to figure out what the original intentions might have been.
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