"Er ist nach Hause gegangen."
Translation:He went home.
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"He's" can mean either "he is" or "he has." In this case, it means "he has."
In German, the perfect tense uses a form of either haben or sein. In English, we just use have. So even though the German sentence includes "ist" the corresponding English sentence has to use "has."
Yes, verbs of motion or changes of condition also take sein. http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/perfektexpl.html http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/perfect/Perfect.html
Also, the German Present Perfect tense shows a completed action, so that would mean that he was at the house, but he is not there anymore. has been = hat gewesen
On the other hand "He has gone to the house." would mean that he could be there now, but at the very least he left and is on his way there.
Yeah, that's right. I think the reason why the longer version is the more casual one, is because it is also the easier one. Often times its form is closer to the infinitive than the Präteritum form.
fallen - fiel- gefallen
stoßen - stieß - gestoßen
halten - hielt- gehalten
Because unlike English, where the present peerfect is alwways formed using "have", German uses two different constructions for the Perfekt. Most verbs use "haben", but a smaller group uses "sein". Verbs that denote movement or state changes (including the "null change" sein or bleiben) fall into the latter caegory.