I'm not a native English speaker, and I though asking "Where could he/she had gone?" was very common. But when I searched that phrase in Google I got only 6 results.

Is there a more simpler, more common way of asking that question?

  • Modal verbs (can/could, may/might, must, shall/should, will/would) always require that the next verb in the construction be cast in the infinitive (plain) form: in this case, have rather than has or had. Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 15:25

3 Answers 3


You got only 7 hits because you have the ungrammatical “could had gone” instead of the correct “could have gone”. If you fix your had into a have, it will be fine.

  • I could had eaten a hamburger before I had eaten a box of chicken nuggets;)
    – Noah
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 5:01
  • @Noah, completely ungrammatical to me. “I could have had eaten a hamburger …” is fine, though, although much too convoluted for my taste. Why not just, “I could have eaten a hamburger before I ate a box of chicken nuggets”? I can't think of any situation where I would use the pluperfects here. Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 13:33
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I believe he’s referring to the lolcats’ I can has cheezburger? Internet meme .
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 13:54
  • @tchrist, perhaps … though somewhat too obscurely so for me, if so. In lolspeak, I would have expected, “I could/cud had eated a hamburgerz before I had eated a box of chiken nugits” or something like that. A missing auxiliary does not lolspeak make. :-) Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 16:18
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: I know it's completely ungrammatical;)
    – Noah
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 3:18

There are 11,900,000 links for this where could he have gone. Is that the question you want to ask?


I usually would say "Where'd [s]he go?"

The "could had gone" may indicate worrying if [s]he will ever return. If you want to convey your concern, then you should stick with "Where could [s]he had gone?"

Edit: I missed that "had gone" should have been "have gone". Thank you.

  • -1 "could had gone" and "Where could [s]he had gone?" are not English.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 11:34

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