Have Been Through or Have Gone Through – Which Is Correct?

“Have been through” and “have gone through” certainly seem like nearly identical expressions, if not fully identical. But are they really equivalent? Or do they have differences between them? Are they both correct? Or is one of them incorrect? This article will answer these questions.

Have Been Through or Have Gone Through – Which Is Correct?

Both “have been through” and “have gone through” are grammatically correct and valid phrases that you can use to talk about undergoing a specific experience. You can use either phrase interchangeably to talk about experiencing something without any issues in terms of coherence.

Have Been Through or Have Gone Through

Both of these phrases are interchangeable, and you can think of them as synonyms of each other. Whichever one you use is up to you, and your personal preference.

This is the rare grammatical situation where, no matter the context, it doesn’t matter which one of these phrases you choose, for the meaning of the sentence will stay the same.

What Does “Have Been Through” Mean?

“Have been through” is a phrase that is used to talk about having an experience, and about the way that the experience’s process in particular affected you. “Have been through” is a very useful phrase that is perfectly suited for you to talk about incidents that have happened to you.

When you use “have been through”, you’re adding extra emphasis and weight to the fact you have lived through a specific experience. It’s a good alternative to simply recounting your experience.

Here are some example sentences that will showcase the proper way to use “have been through”:

  1. We have been through a lot in the past year, but we’ve finally settled down in peace and quiet.
  2. I have been through so many awful things this year, and I’m just so tired of everything.
  3. You must have been through a lot when you thought that the files for the project were lost.
  4. She has been through a lot in the past decade so I think you should cut her some slack, honestly.
  5. He has been through a lot, what with his father passing away and him getting fired from his job.

What Does “Have Gone Through” Mean?

“Have gone through” is an expression that you can use to talk about the way that you lived through a specific experience or event, and how that event interacted and intersected with you. You can use “have gone through” to help your audience understand the event as important.

Using “have gone through” is a really smart and practical way to convey the fact that the experience in question was of some significance to you, without simply saying that it happened to you.

These examples are going to teach you how you easily can use “have gone through” in your sentences:

  1. You have gone through a lot, so it’s admirable that you’re still here with us after all this time.
  2. I have gone through this situation before, in the past, so I think I know how to handle it.
  3. I have gone through the document and I wrote down the things I think we need to change soon.
  4. They have gone through the process as an institution, so we could simply ask them all for help.
  5. We have gone through a lot as a family, so we need to make sure we’re healing as a group.

Which Is Used the Most?

According to information gathered by the Google Ngram Viewer, “have gone through” is the more popular phrase when compared to “have been through”. The information showcases the fact that since at least the year 1950, “have gone through” has been more popular.

Have Been Through or Have Gone Through usage

An interesting fact is that both phrases exhibit similar patterns, meaning that when one rises in popularity, so does the other one. When the second one’s popularity decreases, so does the first one’s.

This is probably due to the fact that they are deeply interchangeable expressions, and therefore people will freely exchange them however they want to, ensuring similar patterns in use and disuse.

Overall, since the year 1950 until the present day, both expressions have grown in use a fair amount, and will presumably keep growing.

“Have Been Through” and “Have Gone Through” – Synonyms

Though of course ”have been through” and “have gone through” are very handy expressions to talk about lived experiences, they’re not the only ways to talk about these experiences. Here are some synonyms you can use instead of these phrases:

  • Have lived through
  • Have experienced
  • Have had this experience
  • Have been in this situation before
  • Have seen this happen before