Would it be right to say "I was at that school before," or do I have to say "I went to that school before/I studied at that school before"?

2 Answers 2


I was at that school before is grammatical. Whether or not you use it depends entirely on what goes before it and what follows it. Seen in isolation it looks like an improbable sentence.

  • In British usage "I have been" is more likely than "I was", but it's grammatical either way.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 28, 2011 at 12:13

Before what?

If you just want to reference time, it should be "I went to that school" and just stop there. The past tense already tells you that it happened in the past.

  • 3
    Not at all. Phrases like "I have been here before" are very common, and the "before" serves a significant pragmatic function.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 28, 2011 at 12:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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