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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Using had too often in a paragraph

    I am a voracious reader, especially since the coming of Kindle. As I have been reading new authors something began to annoy me in their writings. It was then that I noticed many writers were using "had" in nearly every sentence of a paragraph . Since then I have developed had-itus and noticed the trend in many novels. It's difficult to read with distraction as it seems to be redundant.

    My question is: do the rules allow writers to use this word so many times in one paragraph?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    Writers can write whatever they like. Please give some examples of this.

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    #3

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    He had felt a little silly after that last episode.......from things that had been witnessed.....but he had changed his mind later when joe had claimed he had been attacked.....Sheriff had found the body.....He had realized then than what had taken place in the graved yard had taken place then.....he wanted to forget everything he had seen.....the next lunar cycle had approached......


    The above are partial sentences from one paragraph and the partial sentences follow consecutively.
    i

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    Partial sentences are no use. It is necessary to see the full sentences to make any decision on whether I think "had" is being overused. Also, please credit the source and the author.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    If the original really said "graved yard", there's either a typo or the author isn't a native speaker.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    Mind you, this does sound like heavy use, possibly overuse if it's all like this:

    but he had changed his mind later when joe had claimed he had been attacked

  6. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    Thanks for the replies. I did not use the name of the book for a specific reason. It seems that many self published writers on Amazon use this word in extreme, rendering the book unreadable. Graved was a typo on my part.
    Again, thanks.

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    I think it's rather an exaggeration to say overuse of "had" renders a book unreadable!
    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.

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I think it's rather an exaggeration to say overuse of "had" renders a book unreadable!
    I don't think it is. I've had this happen to me. The book is not unreadable per se, but it can become so annoying that reading it is just not enjoyable. It's one of the reasons I so often say that the past perfect should only be used when it's necessary. Some writers have simply never learnt how to avoid the past perfect every time something happens before something else. And given the nature of events and their tendency to follow one another in time, some writers just can't shake off the 'had's.
    I suggest the OP seek out some better quality literature.

    Some support for this opinion:
    http://www.bestsellersociety.com/10-...iter-mistakes/
    http://jinxschwartz.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/had-it.html

    And more opinions both ways:
    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/...d.php?t=167365
    http://www.writingforums.org/threads...-of-had.59196/
    Last edited by Raymott; 19-Jun-2014 at 16:35.

  9. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Using had too often in a paragraph

    I agree that horrible writing style makes me shun a book. I guess I don't put "had" in that category.
    I read three sample pages of 50 Shades of Gray. Oh my God. It's no surprised is began as Twilight fan fiction. It's wretched.
    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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