Which one have you been to?


Where did you go?
What did you see?
How long did you stay?
What did you do?
Where did you stay?
What was your impression?
Do you have any advice?

Answer the questions orally and then write your answers in the “comments” section at the bottom of this page. Answer like this:

I have been to London. I went there last year. It is really big and really multi-cultural. There are people from all over the world. There are many different accents in London.

I stayed with a friend at first. I got my own place later. I did an English course while I was there. I also worked in a pub to cover costs. I met a lot of people but most of them were not English.

While you are in London, you have to get out of the city and see the real English countryside. Watch out for …

or like this:

I have been to Rio. It is a fantastic place. The beaches are great and the people are really friendly.
I went to Rio last year. I traveled in Brazil for three months and I spent two weeks in Rio. I learned to speak a bit of Portuguese.

Some people say Rio is dangerous but it is not so bad if you are careful. All big cities can be dangerous. Be careful of pickpockets and don’t wear showy expensive gear. Dress down. Don’t carry a lot of cash.


Note that we generally tell a story like this in past simple tense but the first sentence is in present perfect tense. Look at this example:

I have been to New York. I went there about seven or eight years ago. I stayed in Manhattan with a friend for one night then I stayed in Westchester County outside the city with another friend. I took a train into the city every day and I visited museums and walked the streets.

I saw lots of interesting people and lots of amazing things. The city has different ethnic neighborhoods and people come from all over the world as well as all over America to see New York.

The best thing for me was walking down Broadway while I was playing “Broadway” by George Benson on my I-pod.

The first sentence is in present perfect tense: I have been to New York.

The second sentence is in past simple tense: I went there about seven years ago.

Look at the sentences that follow:

I stayed in Manhattan.
I took a train.
I visited museums.

They are all in past simple tense. This is normal. Look at these general rules for telling a story when you are speaking:

Introduction: Present Perfect Tense: I have been to New York.

Details of Story: Past Simple Tense: I stayed with a friend.

Details of Place: Present Simple Tense: It is an amazing place.

The first sentence is like the headline in a newspaper story. We use present perfect tense (have been/has been) to show emphasis.

The second sentence is in past simple tense and so are many of the ones that follow it because they describe the details of something that happened in the past.

The third sentence is in the present simple tense because it gives details about a present situation or place.

Now answer the questions:


You can talk about this topic in a live language linkup in any language. Leave your email or skype contact details below or go to the Live Language Linkup page and leave them there.


Describing a City
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