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  1. deaq's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
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    #1

    Red face had had / had been having

    A friend of mine asked me if there's any difference in meaning between these two sentences below:

    a) I was sad when I sold my car. I had had it for a very long time.

    b) I was sad when I sold my car. I had been having it for a very long time.

    I feel a) sounds right (or more common), but I couldn't explain why. Grammatically, b) could be right, too.

    I'd appreciate if anyone could help me out with this.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. indonesia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had had / had been having

    A friend of mine asked me if there's any difference in meaning between these two sentences below:

    a) I was sad when I sold my car. I had had it for a very long time.


    b) I was sad when I sold my car. I had been having it for a very long time.

    I feel a) sounds right (or more common), but I couldn't explain why. Grammatically, b) could be right, too.

    I'd appreciate if anyone could help me out with this.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sentence A is perfectly fine, but sentence B doesn't sound right.
    the second part of sentence B, you are clearly trying to use the past perfect continuous.
    we could say; I was sad when I sold my car, but I had been having trouble with it for a very long time.
    Or
    I was sad when I sold my car, but I had been struggling to keep up the repayments since I lost my job.
    It seems as though you must be having something, you cannot be just having.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: had had / had been having

    Indeed, you cannot use "having" with the meaning "to own" in the progressive.

    I'm having problems. I having trouble. -- Those are fine, because it means you are experiencing problems/trouble. You do not "own" the problems/trouble.

    I'm having breakfast. -- That's fine. You are eating breakfast, not owning it.

    I'm having a red car. -- This is NOT fine. I have a red car.
    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.

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    #4

    Exclamation Re: had had / had been having

    Quote Originally Posted by indonesia View Post
    A friend of mine asked me if there's any difference in meaning between these two sentences below:

    a) I was sad when I sold my car. I had had it for a very long time.

    b) I was sad when I sold my car. I had been having it for a very long time.

    I feel a) sounds right (or more common), but I couldn't explain why. Grammatically, b) could be right, too.

    I'd appreciate if anyone could help me out with this.

    Thanks in advance.


    Sentence A is perfectly fine, but sentence B doesn't sound right.
    the second part of sentence B, you are clearly trying to use the past perfect continuous.
    we could say; I was sad when I sold my car, but I had been having trouble with it for a very long time.
    Or
    I was sad when I sold my car, but I had been struggling to keep up the repayments since I lost my job.
    It seems as though you must be having something, you cannot be just having.
    I agree. ‘Have’ is an auxiliary verb, which is used as main verb, usually in the simple form (as static verbs). It can be used in the progressive tense, only in the present and future but not in the past progressive. In such cases it can be used to show possession but not action. So “I had been having trouble with it for a very long time.” is a correct expression

  4. deaq's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 8
    #5

    Re: had had / had been having

    >>indonesia

    Thanks a lot for your reply!!
    I now clearly understand the difference between those sentences with the examples you've posted.

    I'll tell my friend, and I'm sure he'll be happy.


    >>Barb_D

    Thanks a lot for your reply!!

    That's right... you cannot use "having" with the meaning "to own" in the progressive.

    I really appreciate your help from a writing professional point of view. Your explanation was very clear and easy to understand.

    I'll tell my friend, and I'm sure he'll be happy.

  5. deaq's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 8
    #6

    Re: had had / had been having

    >>sarat 106


    Thank you for your post!!

    Now I 've figured out why I felt something wrong with the sentence b). I just couldn't expalin it.

    I've already told my friend about the difference, and he seemed to understand it.

    Thanks again!

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