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  1. #1
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    I don't know what the correct tense should be in the sentence:

    Although I have never been bullied before, my younger brother had/has had/had had a terrible experience.

    I wrote the first clause in present perfect, hence I'm thinking the second clause should also be in the perfect tense. However, I'm unsure. 'Has had' seems right. If I use 'had had', what would that mean?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    You can't use "had had" (there needs to be more information) but the other two are okay.

  3. #3
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    Based on Piscean's explanation, I understand why the simple past works. How about the present perfect?

    What is the difference if I use the present perfect? Please help me to understand why the present perfect is 'okay'.

    Thank you!

  4. #4
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    They're all possible with changes to the sentence. For example:

    ... but my brother had a terrible experience last week.
    ... but my brother has had a terrible experience.
    My brother had had terrible experiences of bullying before our parents finally moved him to a new school. (Note that past simple is also possible there.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    Also, think about the present perfect in the first part. If you want to locate things in the past, you might want to change the tense there too.

  6. #6
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    Sorry that I don't understand your suggestion. Can you give me some examples?

    Thank you!

  7. #7
    narriag is offline Newbie
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    Question Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    Not a teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    As you are talking of a single experience, the past simple is most likely. I would add an adverbial such as 'once', 'at primary school'.
    I'm not sure that using a double negative is right " I have not never". I guess that "I have never been bullied " is correct.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 06-Sep-2017 at 18:30. Reason: Adding 'Not a teacher'.

  8. #8
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    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    Sorry that I don't understand your suggestion. Can you give me some examples?
    I had never been bullied, but my brother had a terrible experience last week.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #9
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    Quote Originally Posted by narriag View Post
    I'm not sure that using a double negative is right "I have not never". I guess that "I have never been bullied" is correct.
    You're correct; I have not never is wrong. You can say I have not ever,​ which means the same as "I have never", but it's usually awkward and unnatural.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: I have not never been bullied, my younger brother had

    narriag, welcome back after an absence of nearly nine years!

    Please read this extract from the forum's Posting Guidelines:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly in your post.


    ​Thank you.

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