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Dear Friends:

I searched the Forums, but could not find the exact match, though it should be a popular question.

Precondition: I live in US now.

I have been to Spain once.
I have been to Spain before.

I understand that Present Perfect does not go along with the word, "ago," but I think the next should be all right.
I have been to Spain five years ago.

Or do you think this one is better?
I visited Spain five years ago.

Would you help me?
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Comments  
No it doesn't work with the ago.

You can say

I visited Spain five years ago.
I went to Spain five years ago.
Dear nona the brit:

Thank you very much for your kind reply.

I have something more to say on this.
I have been to Spain once. -----> I am in US now.
I have been to Spain before -----> I am in US now.

I have been to Spain five years ago.
I tried to express I visited Spain five years ago and came back to US.

I went to Spain five years ago.
Can you tell where I am now by this sentence?

In addition
I found this in the Forums
Re: Australians
Posted: 12-13-2004 09:55 AM
i like australia, i have been over there for 10 months four years ago.

Do you think we can use Present Perfect with “ago” in this context? Or is this just casual?

Kanjin
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"I like Australia, I have been over there for 10 months four years ago" is not correct. It should be "I like Australia. I was there for 10 months four years ago." Emotion: smile
Dear teacher,

I thought that with "once" we should use the simple past, is that wrong?
I have been to Spain once. -----> I am in US now.
I have been to Spain before -----> I am in US now.


Thank you in advance.
Hela
I am not aware of a 'rule' that says "once" must be used with the simple past and not with the present perfect. Nevertheless, I do feel on an intuitive level that "once" falls more naturally with the simple past. What's strange is that either of the two tenses can co-occur quite comfortably with "twice", "three times", and so on. "only once" or "more than once" go nicely with the present perfect, however.

How many times have you been to Italy?
I've been to France twice.
Has Mary seen that movie more than once?
No, she's only seen it once.
Mary has seen that movie once. (?)
Susan saw the movie once.
Haven't you eaten sushi once? (?)
Didn't you eat sushi once?
Peter won the lottery once.
Peter has won the lottery once. (?)

I'm inclined to think that "once" with the present perfect is quite possible, but I leave it to others to specify the contextual conditions under which that combination works best! If there is a simple answer, I don't know it.

CJ
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Maybe it's because we tend to associate "once" with "once upon a time", which is clearly past?
It seems to me that it is back to the basic concept of the speaker's still considering the association with the present:

'I have been to Spain once' merely suggests that the speaker's hopes of returning to Spain have not yet been completely dashed.

'I was in Spain once' suggests that s/he expects never to taste decent sherry again.
Dear CalifJim:

Thank you for kind clarification.
"I like Australia. I was there for 10 months four years ago." is correct. I underdtand it.

Kanjin
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