had had

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vladz

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I had read several books that have "had had" and it confuse me. Is it possible and what is the xplanation on have it.

Thanks
 
V

vladz

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I know that had is a past tense of have. What cofuse me is that a sentence that have "had had". Example- I had had ... So what is the explanationtion of having "had had" not just "had"
 

RonBee

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Example: "He had had a bad day."

In that sentence, "He had a bad day" talks about the type of day the person experienced. "He had had a bad day" indicates that the experience occurred (and was completed) prior to another experience under discussion.

I hope that helps.

8)
 
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gwendolinest

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vladz said:
I know that had is a past tense of have. What confuses me is that a sentence can have "had had". Example- I had had ... So what is the explanation of having "had had" not just "had"

First of all, do you know what the pluperfect tense is? RonBee has explained to you this tense with reference to the verb “to have” – but do you know what the pluperfect tense (generally) is?

:)Fade-col:)
 
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Anonymous

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vladz said:
I had read several books that have "had had" and it confuse me. Is it possible and what is the xplanation on have it.

Thanks


The verb "have" acts as an auxiliary verb for the perfect aspects/tenses.

The perfect aspects are formed using "have + past participle".

Now, keep in mind that "have" is a verb unto itself. When "have" functions as its own auxiliary in the past perfect, we can choose to leave out "have" as auxiliary so as to avoid the confusion that you are making reference to now. In this manner it is not the past perfect, but the simple past. Take a look at these examples:


Up until lunchtime, he had not eaten anything.

had - as auxiliary + not eaten - eaten as past participle - had not eaten

Up until lunchtime, he had had nothing to eat. (best example I can think of now)

had - auxiliary verb in the past to form the past perfect - + had - past participle - to form the past perfect -

The past form of "have" which is "had" is functioning as an auxiliary in order to form the past perfect with the past participle of "have" which is "had".

had/auxiliary + had/past particple = had had - past perfect aspect of the verb "to have"

We can leave out the first "had" and put the sentence in the simple past. The meaning is not changed in this manner.

Up until lunch time, he had nothing to eat. or He had nothing to eat up until lunchtime.
 
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John D

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Hi vladz :) ,

Welcome to the whacky world of the English language.

It will be good to see this one explained away.

In any language there are terms, adages, word compilations used that seem to be naturally accepted and understood by the natives brought up with that particular language.

To someone learning the language this term will seem silly, nonsense, not logical, very confusing. Or all of the aforementioned in one hit.

You have just brought up one of these instances.

You will have the same kind of thing in your language, no matter how much you try to put over the meaning of a particular phrase, you just cannot convince the student just what is happening.

Here is the classical sentence using your enquiry subject.

It is usually presented without punctuation.

The object of the exercise is to punctuate the sentence so that it makes sense. i.e.

Smith, where Jones had had "had had" had had
"had", "had had" had had the examiner's approval.

An explanation of the sentence is available upon request.

Have fun, smile, it is only a language.

:wink:
 

RonBee

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John D said:
Here is the classical sentence using your enquiry subject.

It is usually presented without punctuation.

The object of the exercise is to punctuate the sentence so that it makes sense. i.e.

Smith, where Jones had had "had had" had had
"had", "had had" had had the examiner's approval.

An explanation of the sentence is available upon request.

:wink:

Good. Please explain. :)

8)
 
J

John D

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Hi RonBee :) .

Smith and Jones were given six letters, AADDHH, and asked to form a verb using as many letters as possible.

Smith wrote HAD

Jones wrote HAD HAD

The examiner went for Jones.

Simple.

:roll: .

That is that explained away. Now let us see "had had" explained.

:shock: .
 

RonBee

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had had had had had

Okay. :?

8)
 

RonBee

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Re:
  • Smith, where Jones had had "had had" had had "had", "had had" had had the examiner's approval.

I think I have finally figured that one out.

:wink:
 

Tdol

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I remember hearing an example with ten 'hads', but I've forgotten it. ;-|
 

filecore

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The way I learned it, I have a slightly different (and, in my opinion, better) structure and explanation.

Original problem:

Smith where Jones had had had had had had had had had had had the examiner's approval.
Given in this forum:

Smith, where Jones had had "had had" had had "had", "had had" had had the examiner's approval.
My own solution:

Smith, where Jones had had "had", had had "had had". "Had had" had had the examiner's approval.
First, your explanation is not as good for understanding the grammatical structures (making things out of mixed letters). The explanation I learned is that both students were writing a short essay (and you can use this to give practical examples of both sorts of text): Jones wrote a sentence using "had", and Smith wrote a sentence using "had had". The sentence could have been "John ______ an apple, but then he had lost it". In this context, "had had" would get the examiner's approval because it's correct, whereas "had" isn't, because of all that stuff mentioned earlier which I'm not going to repeat again.

This is also clearer structurally, because not only does breaking it into two sentences provide clarity of text (taking the phrase about the students' answers seperately from the information about the examiner's approval), but also providing a more heightened contrast between "had" and "had had" as choices by referring directly to "had had" in the link between the first and second sentences. However, it's largely a personal preference I think. I hope that made sense :)
 

charmedboi82

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First, your explanation is not as good for understanding the grammatical structures (making things out of mixed letters). The explanation I learned is that both students were writing a short essay (and you can use this to give practical examples of both sorts of text): Jones wrote a sentence using "had", and Smith wrote a sentence using "had had". The sentence could have been "John ______ an apple, but then he had lost it". In this context, "had had" would get the examiner's approval because it's correct, whereas "had" isn't, because of all that stuff mentioned earlier which I'm not going to repeat again.

This is also clearer structurally, because not only does breaking it into two sentences provide clarity of text (taking the phrase about the students' answers seperately from the information about the examiner's approval), but also providing a more heightened contrast between "had" and "had had" as choices by referring directly to "had had" in the link between the first and second sentences. However, it's largely a personal preference I think. I hope that made sense :)


I don't think it's largely a personal preference. I think you need to separate them. They're two different ideas although clearly heavily related. I personally prefer it as one 'sentence':

Smith, where Jones had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had the examiner's approval.



I think that it looks better this way and the link between the two holds together better. Of course, the sentence makes sense, but I don't think it's the most natural way of saying this. Actually, from how it's written, I'm not sure whether any of the answers were changed.
 

WindSweptCowboy

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When I had thought I had had an understanding of "had had", it seems I only had a head ache. Now, everything is much better. Thank you.
 

DonchBoy

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Is it possible to use "had had" in the first person? eg. I had had...
If not then yea it makes perfect sence lol.
 
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