The Grammarphobia Blog

Could have went?

Q: I wonder if you can answer a question for me. I often hear people from eastern New Jersey say “I could have went” instead of “I could have gone.” Are they both correct? Or is one the more proper usage?

A: “I could have gone” is correct. “I could have went” is not. Here’s how to use the verb “go” in various tenses.

Simple tenses: I goI wentI will goI would (or could) go.

Perfect tenses: I have goneI had goneI will have goneI would have (or could have) gone.

Use “could” in the same way you’d use “would”:

Simple: I would (or could) go.

Perfect: I would have (or could have) gone.

I hope this helps.

Buy Pat’s books at a local store or