Special structures with be

February 21, 2012pdf

Gone with be

After be, gone can be used like an adjective. This structure is used to say that somebody is away, or that something has disappeared.

He has been gone for two hours – what do you think he is doing? (= He has been away for two hours.)

You may go out, but don’t be gone too long. (= You may go out, but don’t be away too long.)

When I reached home, he was gone. (= He had disappeared.)

When I came back my car was gone.

Be with finished

Finished can be used as an adjective after be, meaning ‘ready’. There is no difference between ‘I am finished’ and ‘I have finished’.

The ‘be + finished’ structure is more common in an informal style.

I’m nearly finished. OR I’ve nearly finished.

Been meaning ‘come’ or ‘go’

Been is often used as a past participle of come and go.

I haven’t been to the theatre for ages. (= I haven’t gone to the theatre for ages.)

Note that been is only used for complete visits. In other cases, we use come or go.

The postman has already been. (= The postman has come and gone away again.)

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