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What is the Past Tense of Go

Along with words like “do” and “make”, the verb “to go” in English is among the most useful and important for learners to master.

Not only does this word appear incredibly often as a stand-alone verb, but also as part of many phrasal verbs. It’s a must-have verb that no learner can do without.

The past tense of “go” is “went” and the past participle is “gone”.

What is the past tense of “go”?

Go (verb):

(1) To travel or move from one place to another

(2) To depart or leave

  • Infinitive                      to go
  • Simple Past                 went
  • Past Participle             gone

Conjugation Table for ‘Go’

 PronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Igowenthave goneam going
You (sing.)gowenthave goneare going
He/She/Itgoeswenthas goneis going
Wegowenthave goneare going
You (pl.)gowenthave goneare going
Theygowenthave goneare going

Example Sentences

(1) To travel or move from one place to another

  • I went to Florida on vacation last month with my family
  • Every day, he goes to the same coffee shop for a latte and a muffin
  • She will go to university in the fall, and we are so excited for her!

(2) To depart or leave

  • We have run out of time, and so I think it’s time to go
  • He has been gone for some time. He left at least 2 hours ago

Focus: Past Tense of Go

Since “go” is such an important and useful verb for learners to master, it’s critical that we all take the time to know this word in its many forms.

To assist students with getting to grips with “go” used in its past tense forms, we have prepared several example sentences, which together make use of the following past tense forms:

  • Simple past
  • Present perfect
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect

Simple Past Tense of Go

  • He went to work this morning, but I haven’t heard from him since
  • They went to a theme park on Saturday, and then to a restaurant for a buffet lunch on Sunday, so it was a great weekend
  • I went to his office, but he wasn’t there, so I left a note on his door

Present Perfect Tense of Go

  • I have been to that hotel, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be
  • She is a commercial pilot, so I imagine she has been to many different cities around the world
  • Have you been to India before? If so, can you give us any useful travel tips?

Past Continuous Tense of Go

  • I was going that way, but then I remembered that the store had moved location, so I had to turn back
  • He was going home on the bus when he suddenly remembered that he left his keys in his desk drawer
  • They were going to tell their boss they had had enough of him, but he looked very angry when he arrived, so they changed their minds

Past Perfect Tense of Go

  • You had gone, so I turned off the lights
  • She had gone round to her neighbors house to make sure he was alright when I saw him walking back home with his dog

Usage of ‘Went’ and ‘Gone’

The past tense of “go” is “went”, which is used to describe an action that has already happened. On the other hand, “gone” is the past participle of “go” and is used with helping verbs to form perfect tenses.

Here are more examples of usage:

Simple Past

  • I went to Paris for a vacation last summer.
  • He went to the grocery store yesterday.

Present Perfect

  • I have gone to Paris three times in my life.
  • She has gone to the store and will be back soon.

Past Continuous

  • He was going to the market when it started raining.
  • They were going to the movies every week before the pandemic started.

Past Perfect

  • She had gone to the grocery store before I woke up.
  • We had gone to the park before it started to rain.

Irregularities and Common Mistakes

It’s important to note that “go” is an irregular verb, which means it does not follow the usual verb conjugation patterns in the past tense.

One common mistake that English learners make is using “goed” instead of “went”. This is incorrect, and it’s crucial to remember that “went” is the correct past tense form.

Phrasal Verbs with ‘Go’

The verb “go” is also used in many phrasal verbs, which are expressions consisting of a verb and one or two particles. These include:

  • “Go on”: To continue or proceed
  • “Go over”: To review or examine
  • “Go through”: To experience or endure

Here’s how they might look in the past tense:

  • She went on talking even though everyone else had left the room.
  • We went over our notes before the big test.
  • They went through a lot before they finally succeeded.


The verb “go” is undoubtedly a important in the English language. Understanding its past tense forms – “went” and “gone” – and knowing how to use them correctly, will significantly enhance your communication skills.

Keep practicing its usage in different contexts and in conjunction with various tenses to ensure you’ve mastered it fully. We hope we have given you a head start with this.

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.

You can check other past tense words and our past tense resources by clicking on the links in the table below and in the resource list below that.

Table 2: Table of Links for irregular Past Tense Verbs

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We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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