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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default having had a "mystical" experience

    Is this "had" a mistake of the writer or a does it have any meaning? "Having had" can have a meaning, but then it needs a verb, which actually is not there. I suspected me having seen it wrong, but definitely this is what is on the book.

    st152
    ex)One remarkable discovery emerging from science is that we are not cut off from the rest of the universe...For example, surveys of the American adult population show that two-thirds say they have had an experience of extrasensory perception such as an accurate intuition about the well-being of someone who is far away. In addition, about 40 percent report having had a "mystical" experience such as seeing the universe as alive and feeling a sense of great peace and safety within that aliveness...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    I don't know why you object to this. It's not an error, and is quite common when referring to something experienced in the past.

    I recall having had a delicous meal when passing through this town many years ago.
    She remembered having had a bad feeling when she first met him but ignoring her intuition.

    I suppose the meaning is the same as "I recall that I had had" or "She remmebered that she had had" but you don't have to repeat the subject with the "having had" construction.

    40 percent report that they had had = 40 percent report having had.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    Hi, Barb D. Why "had had" and not "have had" in the equation? It has always been confusing to me how natives speakers use their past perfect when what I've been taught tells me the present perfect is the right choice. (The past perfect in the previous sentences is clear to me.)

  4. #4
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    Thanks a lot! As birdeen indicated, I would say "40 percent report that they have had" is a correct interpretation for it, but I have never encountered this kind of sentence. It's really rare as even if such sentences are shortened forms with the subject implied, I've always seen a verb connected later in the same sentence. So I can't help but infer the subject from the context, especially from the previous sentence.(American adult population)

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    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    You could use either. The more distant in the past (the past before the survey) the more likely the past perfect. But if you wrote it with present perfect that would feel fine too.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    Okay, thanks a lot, but that's not what still doesn't leave my mind. Which do you think "they" mean? Just the general investigators who conducted the survery or the respondents? I'm really stunned at this composition, which I experience in thirty years of learning.

    ex)40 percent report that they had had = 40 percent report having had

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Okay, thanks a lot, but that's not what still doesn't leave my mind. Which do you think "they" mean? Just the general investigators who conducted the survery or the respondents? I'm really stunned at this composition, which I experience in thirty years of learning.

    ex)40 percent report that they had had = 40 percent report having had
    40 percent of those adults surveyed.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    I don't think this is an example of the past perfect in preference to present perfect. It's simply the back shifting of reported speech.
    40% said "I have had a mystical experience". (Present perfect)
    "40% were reported as having had a mystical experience."
    "40% reported that they had had a mystical experience." (back shifted)

  9. #9
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    Oh, my God!!! How absentminded or careless I was that I noticed "report" as a noun instead of a verb, Now you don't have to explain to me, I know it too perfectly!!!

  10. #10
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: having had a "mystical" experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I don't think this is an example of the past perfect in preference to present perfect. It's simply the back shifting of reported speech.
    40% said "I have had a mystical experience". (Present perfect)
    "40% were reported as having had a mystical experience."
    "40% reported that they had had a mystical experience." (back shifted)
    My problem is that "report" is actually in a present tense in this sentence.

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