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When talking about past travel experiences, we typically use been to mean “gone”
or “visited,” usually with ever/never:
▶️ Have you ever been to Australia? (= Have you ever visited Australia?)
▶️ Yes, I’ve been there three times. (= I’ve gone there three times.)
▶️ No, I’ve never been there. (= I’ve never visited.)
The word been describes trips that have happened at an indefinite time in the past
(and implies that the person has returned from the trip):
▶️ I’ve been to Germany twice. (I am not in Germany now, but I have visited
Germany two times at some point in the past).
▶️ We haven’t been to India yet. (We have not yet visited India at any point in the
past).
▶️ Have you ever been to Asia? (Have you visited Asia at any point in the past?)
When talking about recently going to a place (and the person is still there), we use
gone:

▶️ Sorry, Bob’s not in his office. He’s already gone home for the day.
= he went home and he is still at home
▶️ Maria’s gone to the hospital because she’s about to have the baby.
= she went to the hospital and she is still at the hospital
▶️ My sister’s gone to South America on vacation; she’ll be back next month.
= she went to South America and she is still in South America
We can also use went in these cases: Bob already went home, Maria went to the
hospital, my sister went to South America. This is especially common in American
English.

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