He was gone... and he is gone

My dad was really the person who understood me. And he was gone, so… I was alone, alone for the first time.

Question: I don’t understand what the difference between “he is gone” and “he was gone” is.

Thank you!!!

“Gone” here acts like an adjective – it describes the state (being away) of the noun (my dad). So “he was gone” means that at some time in the past he was not here – he was gone, away. “He is gone” means that now, in the present he is not here. In your example the speaker is describing a situation in the past. She was alone because her father was gone, away, absent.


I was actually able to find the transcript for this particular scene so I can speak to it a little better. khardy describes a situation where the father may have been temporarily gone in the past --“he was gone”. Implying that he could be here in the present…

However, in the movie she’s recalling a situation from her past where she met a boy at her dad’s funeral and the boy came over to her house. She starts to describe some feelings she had and begins with “her dad was gone” (her dad was dead). The story she is telling is from the past…therefore “he was gone”. “he *is” gone" is more of a present situation. Although he is dead in the present, the story she is telling is from the past.

Hopefully I described that well enough.

The transcript of the scene can be found at the link here if anyone else wants to help:

A Simple Favor Best Quotes – ‘Everybody has a dark side.’ – MovieQuotesandMore

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Thank you so much, ericb100. It helps a lot.