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The Best Writing Tip Ever: “Have went,” NEVER. “Have gone,” sure.

Tom Petty HAS GONE to the theater. The Heartbreakers HAVE GONE to the theater. (Now maybe Petty SHOULD GO for a haircut and a shave.)

Tom Petty HAS GONE to the theater. The Heartbreakers HAVE GONE to the theater. (Now maybe Petty SHOULD GO for a haircut and shave.)

We’re going with the assumption that virtually anyone reading this blog already knows this, but maybe we shouldn’t: there is no such phrase as “have went.” Not ever. Never, ever, ever.

We bring this up because we recently “officially” joined Twitter (shameless plug: click here to follow us on Twitter), and one of our followers claims to have three undergraduate degrees. He further claims to be working on a postgraduate one.

We have no reason to doubt these claims, yet he recently “tweeted” that a certain talk show host’s rating “have went up” in recent days.

Ouch. Total fail, man.

Presumably this particular grammatical issue hasn’t hurt him so far — he’s apparently well-educated and always well-spoken (well, at least until now). But maybe it has.

Maybe writing “have went” cost him a fellowship here or a promotion there. He’ll never know. An employer just passed him by, not knowing he’s a very bright guy making one very bad grammatical error.

For the record, it’s “I went to the store” or “I have gone to the store,” and so on. You never say “I should have went to her birthday party.” You should have gone.

(Speaking of which, you really should have gone to her birthday party. What, were you too cheap to buy a present?)

As usual, we won’t bore you with the English 101 details. Just understand that “have” and “went” should never be adjacent. (And next time, go to the party!)

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