Whats the difference between:

She were gone to party.
She had gone to party.

Are they both ok?

4 Answers 4


The second one is correct:

She had gone to the party.

In the first variant, there are two problems:

  1. Using were with the subject she is ungrammatical except in the subjunctive construction, which is almost always preceded by the conjunction if.
  2. The English perfect aspect is always indicated by to have followed by a past participle, never to be.

No. The first example is incorrect. You can say

She went to the party

She had gone to the party

The first is an example of the past simple tense, the second of past perfect.

The past perfect tense expresses the idea that something occurred or happened before a specific action in the past. The past simple tense simply indicates that something happened in the past.


She had gone to party.

This is fine and party in this case is a verb.. to party (She could be partying in the street?)

She had gone to a party / She had gone to the party

In this case party is a noun and there is a social event to attend

  • Not that it makes a difference, but may I suggest that to party remains a preposition-object combination with implicit the! The fact of party, per se, and partying, per se, both imply a gathering (as opposed to the mere travel thereto) without which party celebrations cannot occur. (She could be (gathered with others enjoying a party) in the street. Or, she did not take her meds and that explains her "partying" (alone) in the street.
    – lex
    Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 23:13

Knowing the rules is a fine thing, your question seems to indicate, possibly, something else, some other rules. Let's look at your examples.

She were gone to party. She had gone to party.

Allow me to restate those so as to put both examples in indicative mood--so we are not comparing (contrasts such as) apples to oranges (not comparing as between subjunctive "were..." and indicative "had..."), so to speak. Now we have

  1. She was gone to party.
  2. She had gone to party.

Looking at it now, we see that quite often, sentence 1, and expressions like it, are commonly heard in speech: where, instead of the subject (She) being "connected" to the object (party) by a verb or verb-preposition phrase (gone to...meaning, "was already at"), the verb phrase and object, together, are constructed as an adjective which describes the subject. It is as if describing the fact of being at the party as a quality she possesses.

(Here's some background. That is the kind of speaking, derived from what was known as the "beat" movement in the 1950's, that was first introduced to the U.S. youth mass market, in the guise of “beatnik” character, Maynard G. Krebs, in the sitcom, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis—the nik in beatnik deriving from Russian-language bureaucratspeak in the USSR during the cold war; beat philosophy “propounded” a kind of societal and geo-political (nuclear threat) indifference, even to the point of non-participation in the vernacular of the day. Gradually, then increasingly, to the chagrin of parents and teachers alike, beat speak (as it was perceived to be) propagated among (mainly Caucasian-derived and mixed) adolescents and young adults of the day, and into the 1960s and the “hippie” culture, where beat speak was supplanted, largely unchanged, by hip talk. Both were strongly drug influenced, the lingo serving also as a kind of badge and "jargonese" that identified drug shoppers and party-ers to each other; the lingo and the drugs were also prdominantly "vias's" to impromptu "hook-ups." From that first self-reproducing segment of the baby boom generation, the “hip” manner of speaking infiltrated, eventually to the point of pervasiveness today, into the vernacular of the population at large—consider, for example, the first-person rejoinder, cool, meaning okay, I agree, or I can’t find a way to say I disagree. As for acceptable practices today, for cool talk, your examples are instructive.)

Exhibit (rephrasing) 2 is the form that will serve in all situation, orally or in writing. Number 1 (as altered), on the other hand, should be used with circumspection as to who is listening, not only second but also third parties as well. Avoid it in writing—you won’t often get a chance to explain what you meant; and, someone (like a boss or work competitor) might be all too happy to receive evidence to file...in your own hand.

All that said—and despite the merit-worthiness of the other answers, due consideration of which is prudent, the overarching reason why the first of your two exhibit is incorrect pertains to the above mentioned construct called verb mood.

a. She were gone to party. b. She had gone to party.

Both a and b merely state, merely indicate, a matter of fact: something not given to doubt or subject to questioning. b, accordingly, correctly uses the indicative form “had gone.”

In a, however, use of the subjunctive-voice(and also non-singular) verb phrase, were gone…, is at odds with the sentence’s intended meaning and mood: that she is at the party (not going to be at, not on her way, not thinking about, not absent from…and so on.

  • Another post revealed what I overlooked: gone to party ...not gone to the party. But, in actuality, the verb-like expresssion is a manner of saying, "...gone to (the) party." The is implied. (Else, gone to party would predicate an expression of ambiguous, or absent any clear, meaning. Therefore the post and attribution to mood conflict remains appropos, and valid.
    – lex
    Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 22:58
  • 1
    party can be a verb. They were partying all night long. Why did she go to the party anyway? She went to party. See this
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 0:05
  • A verb, loosely speaking, in the sense that is stands in lieu of a dropped, definite or indefinite article or adjective. See comment in answer below. As intimated there, no harms comes from thinking of it as a verb so long as that is not generalized to "any ol" preposition object; or for the purpose of sentence parsing (diagramming)
    – lex
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 4:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.