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Thread: have had to

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default have had to

    Dear teachers.

    I'd like to know the difference between (1) and (2)?

    (1) I had to do it.
    (2) I have had to do it.

    Happy New Year!

  2. #2
    AintFoolin Guest

    Default Re: have had to

    1 refers to a specific instance
    2 refers more to the behavior in general and the fact that it has occurred in the past (usually more than once)

    "I had to shoot the dog" - usually everybody knows precisely which dog you are talking about

    "I have had to shoot dogs" - people don't necessarily know/care which dogs, just the fact that you have shot dogs in the past

  3. #3
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: have had to

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Dear teachers.

    I'd like to know the difference between (1) and (2)?

    (1) I had to do it.
    (2) I have had to do it.

    Happy New Year!
    (1) I had to do it. - This is one complete action in the past. - simple past

    (2) I have had to do it. - The means up until you "did it" any number of times. It could be just one time. The speaker is not specifying how many times he/she did it or when he/she did it. It could be any amount of times at any time up until now. This is why the present perfect is used here. - present perfect

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