Could have gone

Repeat three times,

could have gone
could have gone
could have gone

While listening to an interview with a local artist, I was startled to hear the interview subject say that something “could have went” another way.

The artist has graduated from more than one institute of higher learning, but if he’d only gotten as far as eighth grade in any public school, he should have known to use gone with have.

As I usually do when troubled by an example of nonstandard usage, I do a Google search to see how widespread it is. Not only did I find “have went” in comments and in blogs, it even occurs in song lyrics to be drilled into the minds of the people who listen to the songs.

Very few irregular verbs survive in English, so few that it seems that any competent grade school or middle school teacher could manage to instill them in students by the end of the eighth grade, max.

Parents need to dig their heels in when it comes to the latest educational gobblydegook about “literacy proficiency” and demand answers to specific questions regarding specific skills and knowledge mastered. For example, Has my child mastered the use of English irregular verb forms in speaking and writing?

Irregular verbs must be drilled.

23 verbs like cut/cut/(have) cut

61 verbs like find/found/(have) found

65 verbs like begin/began/(have) begun

28 verbs that defy categorization

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