Where have you been or where were you?

If someone I know was absent, then I saw him suddenly, what I must say…

Where have you been or where were you?

When I should use one of them instead of the other ?

Thank you.


Either one is correct and acceptable.

However,be aware both sound a little bit demanding. If you know the person well enough, it’d would be okay to use them, but I wouldn’t use them with people I didn’t know well, or say, my boss or a teacher.

I can’t help but hear my mother’s voice echoing in my head with those exact same questions , countless times when I was a child and didn’t make it home as soon as my mother thought I should have, or if I had gone off without telling her first. :slight_smile:

Usually, she’d proceed the question with my full name, including my middle name. Any time a parent uses your full name, it’s always a clear indication something’s about to hit the fan.

In all the cases?

If you accidentally bump into a person you have not seen for a long time, “Where have you been” is the most appropriate, I believe.
“OMG, I can’t believe my eyes!! Where have you been? I have not seen you for ages.”

“Where were you” is usually used in context. “Where were you yesterday/last week/when I was looking for you?

“Any time a parent uses your full name, it’s always a clear indication something’s about to hit the fan.” :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Isn’t that the truth!

Natasha thank you very much your way is very clear … and I’m thankful to my friend Dad and Skrej

By the way… Where have you been Skrej… I haven’t seen you for long time, And you Dad where were you?

Thank you.

“How are things? I didn’t see you for ages.”
“She’s been to the bank yesterday.”

Apparently something is wrong with this sentence but I cannot put a finger on it… Can someone help me find the correct tense and why is it used in this context?

Thank you

ooops I should have written… “these sentences”…

Hi Jean,

In the first sentence the response should be: I haven’t seen you for ages. The use of the present perfect covers the period from the last time you saw someone up to the present.

In the second sentence you need ‘She went to the bank yesterday’. You use the past simple because there is mention of a definite time in the past - ‘yesterday.’


Thank you Alan.

Could you also help me with these 2 other sentences?

“I waited for the bus when the bomb exploded”
“She’s been to the bank yesterday.”



The first sentence should read: I was waiting … wen the bomb exploded.

The second sentence I have already explained.


the second sentence was the following one. I didnt realize I had put the same one twice.

A: Where are you from?
B: I’m coming from Egypt.


That should be: I come from Egypt.