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  1. #1
    vectrum is offline Newbie
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    Why "he had had to flee ..." instead of "he had to flee... " ?

    I don't understand why an author wrote "...he had had to flee..."?

    As far as I know when I use "he had to + verb", it automatically refers to
    some kind of force that had made him do something but here the author
    has written the following;
    "Within six years he had been defeated
    by his Barakzai enemies and had had to flee into exile in India.
    "
    (Taken from Dalrymple's book, Return of a King: The battle of Afghanistan)


    Is it also correct if I say the aforementioned line as "...and had to flee..."?

    Why "had" used here two times?


    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Why "he had had to flee ..." instead of "he had to flee... " ?

    Quote Originally Posted by vectrum View Post
    I don't understand why an author wrote "...he had had to flee..."?

    As far as I know when I use "he had to + verb", it automatically refers to
    some kind of force that had made him do something but here the author
    has written the following;
    "Within six years he had been defeated
    by his Barakzai enemies and had had to flee into exile in India.
    "
    (Taken from Dalrymple's book, Return of a King: The battle of Afghanistan)


    Is it also correct if I say the aforementioned line as "...and had to flee..."?

    Why "had" used here two times?


    Thank you.
    This is the past perfect tense. One 'had' is the auxiliary, and second 'had' is the past participle.
    "I have to flee."- present
    "I had to flee" - past tense
    "I had had to flee" - past perfect tense.

    I note you didn't ask about the use of the past perfect in the first line. Simple past would be "He was defeated". The writer could have used the simple past in the second line, but he decided to continue with the past perfect.

  3. #3
    vectrum is offline Newbie
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    Re: Why "he had had to flee ..." instead of "he had to flee... " ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This is the past perfect tense. One 'had' is the auxiliary, and second 'had' is the past participle.
    "I have to flee."- present
    "I had to flee" - past tense
    "I had had to flee" - past perfect tense.

    I note you didn't ask about the use of the past perfect in the first line. Simple past would be "He was defeated". The writer could have used the simple past in the second line, but he decided to continue with the past perfect.
    Thank you very much. I did not ask about the usage in the first line because I didn't notice it.
    My knowledge is very limited. I always see and try to understand with this much of limitation.
    I knew "I have had to flee" is present and "I had to flee" is the past tense and could be used
    as a past perfect. I was unaware of that form.

    And the biggest problem is what you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The writer could have used the simple past in the second line, but he decided to continue with the past perfect.
    More than one always pose problem where knowledge is limited.
    Thank you very much for your kind help.

  4. #4
    vectrum is offline Newbie
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    Re: Why "he had had to flee ..." instead of "he had to flee... " ?


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