Issue For July 17, 2006
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
I have a question about 'have gone' and 'have been gone.' What is the difference between these two sentences?
- Since you have gone.
- Since you have been gone.
Is there any difference in meaning (subtle distinction)? If there is no distinction between these two in meaning, what is the reason that we use the second one?
Thanks for writing. You're right in noticing there is only a subtle difference between the two phrases in the example you used. To use 'have gone' tells the reader that this person left at some point. To use 'have BEEN gone' implies that that sense of his/her leaving is still lingering.
Where you might encounter a greater difference would be in the following related examples:
I have gone to that mall. (Meaning: at some point in the past, the speaker visited the mall.)
I have been going to that mall for thirteen years. (Meaning: the speaker started going to this mall in the past and has continued to go.)
Hope this helps, OWL
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
Is there a rule governing the use of the adverb "also" in preceding or following the active verb, or in relationship to the subject?
I also participated in the study.
Also, I participated in the...
I participated also in the ...
--Eric Corp, University of Massachusetts
1. "Also" generally precedes a one-part verb:
2. It comes after an auxiliary and am/is/are/was/were. Note: If several auxiliary verbs are involved, "also" comes after the first one:
- I have also participated/will also participate in the study.
- I was also in France.
- You should also be prepared...
- I have also been asked to participate ...
3. "Also" may take front position, having a similar meaning to the discourse markers "moreover", "furthermore", which introduce additional information or arguments:
Your last example "I participated also" is wrong.--Angelika Weichhart, Austria
Is the question mark placed before or after the closing quotation marks at the end of a sentence? --Wayne Leon Sanford, City and County of Denver Auditors Office
The question mark's placement is dependent on how it is being used.
If the question mark is associated only with the text within the quotation marks, then the question mark goes inside the quotation. For example:
I asked, "How will we know when we're finished?"
However, if the question is the entire sentence (not only what is in quotations), the question mark goes outside the quotation mark. For example:
Do you understand Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "The Raven"?
--Danica Rhoades, Technical Editor; Boise, Idaho
According to a book by Robert L. Iles, titled Guidebook To Better Medical Writing, the placement of question marks relative to quotation marks depends on the "...sense of the quoted material." That is, if the quoted material is a question and includes a question mark, the question mark should be placed inside the ending quotation mark. However, if the question asked applies to something that is quoted, but the quoted material is not a question, then the question mark is placed outside the ending quotation mark. --Dave Apgar, College of Pharmacy University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
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What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...Cleaning the Office. Summer time brings excitement! Over the last week, the OWL Staff (Karl and Dana) finally got around to cleaning up the OWL office. In the process, they made room for some new toys, and retired some old ones (including the old OWL server).
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair. Writing Lab Tutors will provide resume consultations to Purdue Liberal Arts alumni at the Indiana State Fair on August 16, from 4-7 pm. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Chris Sharp, Alumni Relations Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- OWL Eye On...Writing Lab at Orientation Events. As Purdue's fall 2006 semester approaches, staff in the Writing Lab are preparing for the new academic year and the arrival of 5000+ freshmen students. The Writing Lab will participate in Boiler Gold Rush, the new graduate student information fair, and other orientation events on campus. Keep an eye out for us!
This week's OWL News was edited by Karl Stolley, OWL Webmaster.