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leo malettдобавил заметку год назад

заметка (en-en)

When someone tells you they're back, which one will be the correct way to satisfy your curiosity "Where were you?" or "Where have you been?"?

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Обсуждение (12)

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝добавил комментарий год назад

Where’ve you been? [=all this time]; Where were you? [=when you weren’t here].

leo malettдобавил комментарий год назад

But that's basically the same: where've you been all this time while you weren't here 🤔

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝добавил комментарий год назад

You can approach this situation from either one of those perspectives using one question or the other.

leo malettдобавил комментарий год назад

Maybe I'm wrong but the way I see it:
"Where were you?" this one is more suited to this situation when someone comes up to you and says "I'm back." Now that they're here, you want to know where they were, in other words where they came back from (and also, maybe, why they left in the first place when you told them to stay here). You want to know about this exact fact of absence.
But if you ask "Where've you been?", it will sound like a general question that has nothing to do with this particular situation. "Where have you ever been?" "I've been to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and never been abroad."

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝добавил комментарий год назад

No, both of these questions are used in your first scenario.

In the second one, if you’re curious about what places someone has been TO, we’d ask: Where (all) did you go? or What (all) places did you go TO?

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝добавил комментарий год назад

Also note that while the person is still abroad, you can ask Where (all) have you been? to find out what places they’re visited so far on their trip. AFTER the trip, you’d ask Where (all) did you go? You can’t use the present perfect to refer to a trip that’s over.

leo malettдобавил комментарий год назад

Okay, it's all clear with the trip scenario. When you're in the middle of an activity, you talk about the finished progress using the present perfect. That makes perfect sense to me.
But let's get back to my first scenario and add a bit more details to it. Imagine your kid and you are in a mall. You get distracted by something and when you turn around your kid's nowhere to be seen. You start worrying, walk between the aisles looking for them, asking people. Finally, they show up as if nothing happened. Now here, are both tenses acceptable as well?

leo malettдобавил комментарий год назад

When you get back to an interrupted conversation you say "[Anyway,] where were we?" ([Так,] на чем мы остановились?) You don't say "Where have we been?" Or do you?

🇺🇸 Uly 🐝добавил комментарий год назад

No, always Where were we?

mary leeдобавил комментарий год назад

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