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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15 Responses to “Which one have you been to?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Ab says:

    I find this site very intrested,easy to learn and understandable,i wish i could write like others people.i would keep on reading,listening and chating on this website.Thanks

  2. Rozanna says:

    I want to know :
    If it is acceptable to say “I went to New York” instead of ” I have been to New York” or it’s wrong?

  3. viviana vargas says:

    I have been to New York on december 2009, I stay in diferent places: Long Island, Atlantic City, Manhattan and New Jersey. I visit china town, i walk araund the Central Park, Times Square and I climbed to Empire State Building. The City is wondelfull, yuo can see diferent people in the same place: indian, latin, european, japanis and off cours Paisas people. I went to italian food restaurant : Oliver Gardner.

  4. Edgar says:

    I have been to Edimburg. It is really a paradise: the old city, wonderful; the modern one…. amazing…. culture, power, beauty, history……

  5. Aqeel Ansari says:

    I’ve been jeddah a couple years ago. I’ve seen a university and a huge and multistory shopping mall.
    I stayed for a fortnight only. I’ve learnet about the arabic culture.
    It’s very hot and warm place though. I went there by airplane. there are peoples from most of the asian and north African countries.
    I stayed there with our brother in an apartment. I met a lot of peoples but most of them were not Arabian.
    this is very beautifull place and I would like to see it agin and again..
    if you are there, you should be very carefull, espacislly beware of pocket-pickers.

  6. mohammadamir Noori says:

    I went To Kuwa lalampore about two weeks last year. I was with some friends. Our trip was for Training.
    It is a Beautiful city. Majoriteis are Moslims But they have not any poblom with others like christian and Budism.

  7. Oscar A. says:

    I have been to the U.S.A. I was last year in Colorado state. This state is very beatiful, specially his mountains. I stayed there for three weeks and visited many towns. Fort Collins is in the list of the ten best towns to live in U.S.A. I recommend to go to Colorado state

  8. orlando pulido says:

    I have been to holland, The Netherlands. I lived there longer than 8 years. It was fantastic. Its parks and people made me feel as if I were at home. I have always said that Holland is like a large back yard in a beautiful house. Everything seems to be an awesome dream where you don’t want to wake up.

  9. Robert says:

    I have been to Portlaoise /Ireland/.
    I saw very large trees park Emo which is not far from Portlaoise.There are a lot of exotic trees and plants which name I forgot.
    I spent ten days in Portlaoise.It was my vacation, so I rested all time.
    I stayed at my daughter’s house.
    There are my advices: If you would like to drive by the car yourself. You have to
    learn to ride the left side of the road.

  10. parham says:

    I have been to kula lamlpour one week ago.It was green country with full of trees.Palm trees are very famouse in that country.I have stayed in Flamingo Hotel for 4 nights.It had a nice view with a small lake in front of hotel.I have visted Indian tempele,Malysian resturant with local foods,Ginting high land park and so on.Malysian foods were not delecious with my taste.

  11. emad jaafer says:

    I went to India last year. I like it so mutch it is very beutiful country

  12. Elvie Zamora says:

    I have been to San Francisco. I stayed in my sister’s condominium at North Point St. She took me to tourist spots like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and 90 mile drive. We always had sumptuous dinner on different cuisines.

    San Francisco is a great and romantic city that I fell in love with the place. I will surely go back to this awesome place.

  13. gamar says:

    I have been to Karlovi Vari .It was interesting trip.There was beatiful weather there ?amazing nature with river and mounties.We stayed in the hotel “Romania”.We met many turists from Izrail and Russia.The local food and ice-cream was exellent

  14. p.f says:

    I have been to Moscow.It’s a very nice city with many historical sightseeing.You can see lots of museums and statuses everywhere.I went to ballet and circus.They are famous around the world.Their food is not delicious very much but you can see many intresting and fantastic places.I strongly suggest you to go there and stay in five stars hotels.

  15. p.f says:

    I went to Istanbul 3 months ago.It is a nice city.I visited mousqes,Bazar,statues and …..The most intresting thing was Bosphourous Trip by boat.
    The local food is excellent ,too.

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