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This is an issue which arose in the "ask a teacher" section.
I hope someone can help in this section.
Passive past perfect tense.
She had her heart broken.
Had - the aux verb. Broken - the past participle full verb.
Passive present perfect tense.
She has had her heart broken.
Has - the aux verb. Had - the past participle full verb. Broken - the second and main full verb.
Am I correct in my explanations of these sentences? Particularly the second one.
Any advice would be very helpful.
To form the passive, add BE + a past participle to the main verb--except with causative verbs. In such cases, use e.g., HAVE + verb's object + past participle, as in :
 She had her heart broken. Active <causative, passive>Note that, with standard passives, the verb's object comes first, before HAVE, , whereas with causative passives, the verb's object comes after HAVE, .
subject + verb + object + past participle
 Her heart had been broken. Passive <standard passive>
object + verb + BE + past participle
Have, a causative verb, can be used to refer to an event which is outside of a person's control.
Read more here, and see the grid on "causatives"here
Last edited by Soup; 22-Jun-2008 at 09:16. Reason: correction!
Actually, there is a passive in this sentence but how you parse the sentence isn't obvious.
First: There are active and passive versions of these sentences:Active: She had him break her heart. (Grammatically correct, but unusual, because you don't normally commission your own heartbreak. ;) )Compare:
Passive: She had her heart broken.
Active: She made him break her heart.And:
*Passive: She made her heart broken.
Active: She caused him to break her heart.There is actually a progression, there:
Passive: She caused her heart to be broken.
Her heart was broken.But the "had" is not an auxiliary that signals the past perfect tense; how you parse that is a bit more complex. It could be treated as a modal auxiliary, or as a transitive verb. The passive construction would be either in the main verb, or in a non-finite clause that functions as object complement respectively. (I'm sure there are other interpretations I can't think of right now.)
Her heart got broken.
She got her heart broken.
She had her heart broken.
Last edited by Dawnstorm; 21-Jun-2008 at 11:01.
Someone has broken her heart.
Someobe had broken her heart.
Her heart has been broken.
Her heart had been broken.
Ex: She has had her heart broken.Note, broken is a past participle:
Ex: She had had her heart broken.
breakNote also, past participles can also function as adjectives. To test this, insert a form of BE:
... her heart [is/was] broken ...
Getting back to the above post, there's one thing I'm still unsure about.
Dawnstorm (thank you for your input Dawnstrom) disagreed with you in stating "She had her heart broken is passive". I have checked one of my textbooks, which states "There are two distinct types of passive construction: 'standard' constructions and 'causative' constructions".
One passive example the book uses is "He got his leg broken" - which is very similar to the sentence in question.
The book is "Grammar for English Language Teachers" by Martin Parrot.
So do you agree with Dawnstorm? Is this sentence a (causative) passive construction?
I just want to be sure in my mind as I'm still very much in the process of learning and if I can't clearly identify things, it bothers me greatly!
1. She had him break her heart. <causative, active>
2. She had her heart broken. <causative, passive>
There are two basic causative structures - an active one (ex: "I had Mike fix my computer") and a passive one (ex: "I had my computer fixed"). It is often used with the following verbs: TO HAVE, TO LET, TO MAKE, TO GET, and a few others.
FREE ENGLISH GRAMMAR TEST - VERB TENSES: Causative form/Causative structures 2