My teacher asked me where had I been because I was very late.

What would be the best answer?

  1. I have been travelling from my hometown to here, so I have came late
  2. I had been travelling from…
  3. I was in travel / travelling from…

(Note: that morning I was in my hometown where is far away from my university .. so it took me 1.5hr to come to my class)

  • Did the teacher ask the question when you came late into the classroom or after class? In other words, did the teacher say: 'Where have you been? You are very late. Or: 'Where were you? (or possibly, 'Where had you been?') You were very late.'
    – Shoe
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 10:43
  • He asked me inside the class directly after I came in .. And he said " where have you been " ..
    – Yassin
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 10:54
  • "I have been traveling" implies that you still are traveling or have just finished.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


The first and third excuses are reasonable, the second is not so good.

I would use "had" but in a different sense, to make it seem as though it was not your fault.

I had to travel from my home town, and I caught the first bus out.

  • I understood what you mean .. thanks ! Or I can use had in case he asked " where had you been before come here " right?
    – Yassin
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 11:13
  • If the teacher's question is ungrammatical, reply in the same style rather than correct him. Aside: if you are at university it is none of the teacher's business why you were late. A simple apology will usually do, perhaps with "due to events beyond my control". Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 11:36
  • I just want to know when I can say I had been travelling .
    – Yassin
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 12:15

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