[past plain verb] + ことがあります

[past plain verb] + ことがあります

Today’s Question

Have you been to America?
a. アメリカに いきましたか。
b. アメリカに いく ことが ありますか。
c. アメリカに いった ことが ありますか。
d. アメリカに いって しまいましたか。

Today’s Grammar Point: ~ことがあります/ことがある

If ことがあります/ある is used with a past plain verb, it means “to have done something (before)” or “to have had an experience of doing….” It is an expression to mention a past experience.


[past plain verb] + ことがあります
past plain verb] + ことがある


なっとうを たべたことがあります
I have eaten natto (fermented soybeans).

インドの えいがを みたことがありません
I have never seen an Indian movie.

オートバイに のったことがありますか。
Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

ポッドキャストを きいたことがありません
I have never listened to a podcast.

ヤギの ミルクを のんだことがありますか。
Have you ever had goat milk?

スキーを したことがありません
I have never skied before.

ここに きた ことがありますか。
Have you been here before?

Answer to Today’s question: c.

Translation of other sentences are:
a. Did you go to America? (This is the second best choice)
b. Do you sometimes go to America (Do you have occasions to go to America?)
d. Have you gone to America? (Assuming you are already in America).

You need to make sure that you use [past plain verb] instead of [non-past plain verb] because as shown above [non-past plain verb] + ことが ある means “to do…sometimes” or “to have occasions of doing…”

*A note for those people who are not very familiar with English*
The question “Have you been to America?” is a question to ask if someone has had an experience of going to America. It is a question you ask a person who is outside of America and who you don’t think is an American. This question won’t be asked inside America.

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One thought on “[past plain verb] + ことがあります

  1. Reply
    [non-past verb] + ことがあります | EasyJapaneseE
    27 July 2021 at 5:53 pm

    […] Make sure you use “non-past plain form” for this. If you use the “past plain form”, it describes your experience, “have done somethi… […]

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