+1
Hi,

Is there a difference between these sentences?

A) "Have you been in New York before?"
B )"Have you been to New York before?"

Some people claim that sentence A has to be applied when the speaker or the speaker and hearer are in New York while talking whereas sentence B is used when the speaker or the speaker and hearer are not in New York.

For instance, most immigration questionaires use the sentence "Have you ever been in the US before?" but I have my doubts if the preference of one preposition towards the other really depends on the location of the speakers.

If there happens to be a clear cut rule, could you please quote from a written reference material ( i.e. grammar book or dictionary)

Thanks for your help
Wolfgang from Vienna
+2
To me, (I am a native speaker), there is no dependence on the current location of the speakers.

For the immigration people, the wording "in" means an official entry into the place. For example, if I travel from London to Mexico City through the Washington DC international airport, and change planes without going through immigration, then I have not been "in" the US.

If I meet a friend from England, I usually ask, "Have you been to Washington before?" I am asking if they have visited and toured the sights, not just that they have passed through the city on an interstate highway and never stopped.
"To X" means that X was an ending destination.
"In X" means that the boundary was crossed.

These are subtle distinctions, though. Most people use them interchangably.
+0
Hi,

Is there a difference between these sentences?

A) "Have you been in New York before?"

B )"Have you been to New York before?"

Some people claim that sentence A has to be applied when the speaker or the speaker and hearer are in New York while talking I wouldn't say 'has to', but it is commonly said in that situation.

whereas sentence B is used when the speaker or the speaker and hearer are not in New York. It's not unusual for this to be said in both situations.

In both cases above, the context will usually make the intended meaning clear, regardless of the preposition used.

For instance, most immigration questionaires use the sentence "Have you ever been in the US before?" but I have my doubts if the preference of one preposition towards the other really depends on the location of the speakers.

If there happens to be a clear cut rule, could you please quote from a written reference material ( i.e. grammar book or dictionary) I'm not aware of any rule about these nuances.

Clive
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Comments  
Is there a difference between these sentences?-- No.

A) "Have you been in New York before?"
B )"Have you been to New York before?"

Some people claim that sentence A has to be applied when the speaker or the speaker and hearer are in New York while talking whereas sentence B is used when the speaker or the speaker and hearer are not in New York.-- That is patently untrue.

For instance, most immigration questionaires use the sentence "Have you ever been in the US before?" but I have my doubts if the preference of one preposition towards the other really depends on the location of the speakers.- You are correct.

If there happens to be a clear cut rule, could you please quote from a written reference material ( i.e. grammar book or dictionary)-- There is none, sorry.
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?