[Grammar] has/have to VS has/have had to

dz420

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1)Some patients have had to wait more than seven hours to be transferred from an ambulance into hospital.
2)The ambulance service has had to rely on taxis to ferry thousands of patients to appointments.-

Could somebody tell me what will be the difference in terms of meaning if I use has/have to in those sentences? When should I use this has/have had to term ? Is both possible to use sometimes in terms of meaning ?
 
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andrewg927

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If you just use "have to", it means something in general. Like the first one, it is more like a general fact that people wait more than 7 hours to be transferred from an ambulance into the hospital. In this sense, the sentence does not make sense. If the ambulance is at the hospital, patients usually are transferred into the hospital almost immediately. No one in an emergency could wait 7 hours.

If you use "have had to wait", you are talking about a specific incident where people had to wait 7 hours.

The same goes with your second sentence. Maybe it is a cultural thing but in the US, the ambulance is not used for doctor's appointments. Only in a medical emergency would they dispatch an ambulance.
 

dz420

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If you just use "have to", it means something in general. Like the first one, it is more like a general fact that people wait more than 7 hours to be transferred from an ambulance into the hospital. In this sense, the sentence does not make sense. If the ambulance is at the hospital, patients usually are transferred into the hospital almost immediately. No one in an emergency could wait 7 hours. If you use "have had to wait", you are talking about a specific incident where people had to wait 7 hours. The same goes with your second sentence. Maybe it is a cultural thing but in the US, the ambulance is not used for doctor's appointments. Only in a medical emergency would they dispatch an ambulance.

1) This is not the first time that the residents of the capital have had to suffer such inconveniences.
2) "This is not the first time that the residents of the capital have to suffer such inconveniences.

I can't explain these sentences with your explanation. Could please explain the difference?
 
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andrewg927

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The key word here is "not the first time". It links the past and the present together. Either use of "have had" or "have" essentially means the same thing.
 
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