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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    have had to vs had to?

    Dear Sir

    Please explain the difference between usage of these two different phrases often used especailly in written english.
    have had to and had to.
    like we have had to read our books when we were at college
    and we had to read our books when we were at college.
    Is there any difference in the meaning and if there is, please shed some light.......grateful..

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    #2

    Re: have had to vs had to?

    Quote Originally Posted by timu View Post
    Dear Sir

    Please explain the difference between usage of these two different phrases often used especailly in written english.
    have had to and had to.
    like we have had to read our books when we were at college
    and we had to read our books when we were at college.
    Is there any difference in the meaning and if there is, please shed some light.......grateful..
    You can't use the present perfect (first example: have had) in this example. Why? What does the present perfect indicate? What is the timeline in the second part of the sentence (hint: present or past).

    See if you can understand the use of present perfect by studying books or online and then post back if you are still stuck.

    Not a teacher -- AmE native

  2. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: have had to vs had to?

    Thank you sir for replying and guiding..


    but then how would have we used the first phrase..............that is present perfect.......i mean what should have been the optimum tense for its second part....? if not ' we were at college' then what???

    It would explain actually the time line........we generally refer to while using ' have had to' in sentences.


    Thanx again.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have had to vs had to?

    The tenses in the two halves should agree.

    have to / had to / have had to
    am / were/ had been

    So if you have "were at college" (the second of the three tenses above) in the second half, then it would be matched in the first half.

    We had to read books when we were in college.

    It's the same tense as:

    We read books when we were in college.

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