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Hi everyone. Thisis my first post.Emotion: smileAnd definatly not my last.

Can someone please tell me what the difference is between

Where did you go?

Where have you been?

Just to give you some context. I walk into the kitchen expewcting to see my husband. He's not there. A few minutes later he walks in, so I ask.......

Many thanks in advance
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Welcome to English Forums, wvic.

I'm not really sure of what your concern is. Both sentences are uttered with the same intent. The first asks his direction of departure; the second asks his previous location.
I'll try to keep this simple.

Ok, so you're taught at the beginning that pp refers to non specified time and past simple to specified time eg. where did you go last night?. Therefore in my origional Q you could use pp.

PP refers to something that happened in the past and has a consequence in the present. so my husband left but now he is here,so i can use pp.

However,you can use simple past if the action clearly happened in the past and is finshed.So, for me my husband left and went somewhere, he's now back which means where he went is in the past and all i care about is where he was, not that he's back.

Now here's what really confuses me. It says that questions and answers regarding detail, has to be in past simple. So for me 'Where' is a asking for detail.

For me both are correct, it just depends how the speaker sees the situation.

Ihave a few more questions,but i dont have time right now. Maybe you can help me out thanks

p.s I know my spelling is terrible, iappologise, my time is limited and so i type quicklyEmotion: embarrassed
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"It says that questions and answers regarding detail, has to be in past simple."-- Who says? I don't believe it. Also the idea of specified/unspecified time is not that clear cut
wvic123It says that questions and answers regarding detail, has to be in past simple.
I agree with Mr. M. that there is some misunderstanding here. I can't imagine where you got that "rule".

CJ
I read on a site that questions with where,what who and when, are in past simple. That's why i'm getting confused. Also in one of my books it says'questions,answers and details about definite time are expressed in the past simple'. What does this mean exactly? I know that if i ask 'Have you been to the USA? The reply is yes, i can then follow with simple past 'when did you go?' What did you do?etc.

As regards to my orig question, do you consider both correct?
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Mister MicawberAlso the idea of specified/unspecified time is not that clear cut
Exactly. this is where it gets confusing for students. For a mother tounge it just happens automatically and you don't always know why, but with students you have to explain the choice you've made, and can sometimes contradict what you've taught them. I guess it's a case of what the speaker considers specified/unspecified time. Do you agree?
Where did you go? Where have you been?-- These are both indubitably correct and common utterances. Neither specifies a definite time. The going was a past act, but if he phoned you after that act from somewhere, you would say. 'Where have you gone?' Where are you now?'-- the going leads up to the present. Similarly, when he arrives back, you say, 'Where did you go? Where have you been?'-- the being leads up to the present. So I think that it is not what the speaker 'considers' specified time, but how s/he views the event.

I think our problem is with the word 'detail'. This 'detail' must be a specific, indicated point of time of the past action; other details would be irrelevant, I think.

When a specific, indicated past point is the time of the action, then yes, the verb is in a past tense, as you indicated: What did you eat yesterday? Where were you sitting in the theater last night? And I cannot think of an example where present perfect would work here.

Both can be used when the past event was at some unspecified but clearly past time: When did you get your hair cut? Who ate my cheese? Where have my red shoes disappeared to? What have I told you about staying out late?

In these unreferenced cases, I think that it is not what the speaker 'considers' specified time, but how s/he views the event.
Thank you very much for your help.
Mister Micawber
Both can be used when the past event was at some unspecified but clearly past time: When did you get your hair cut? Who ate my cheese? Where have my red shoes disappeared to? What have I told you about staying out late?

This is what i've told my students, but just wanted to make sure I was correct.
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