I had /I've had

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Hello,

Can you tell me why this sentence is not correct please?

I've had a dog but now it's dead?

It present perfect, we don't specify when it happened and it can be considered as an experience, so why can't we say this sentence correct?

Thanks for your explanation, I tend to get confused about the present perfect use.


EL
 

Horsa

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
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English Teacher
Ok I'll try to explain.

Consider the following sentences.

1. I had a dog.

2. I have had a dog.

In 1 I am talking about my dog, but in 2 I am talking about the experience of having a dog - not about the dog itself.

So now consider the following sentences.

3. I had a dog and I didn't like it.

4. I have had a dog and I didn't like it.

In 3 'it' means 'the dog' so I didn't like 'the dog -maybe because it bit me, but in 4 'it' means 'the experience of having a dog' so I didn't like 'the experience of having a dog' - maybe because I didn't like getting up early to take it for walks etc.

Now in your example -

I've had a dog but now it's dead?

What does 'it' mean? Does 'it' mean 'the experience of having a dog' or does it mean 'the dog'?

Well, since 'the experience of having a dog' can't be 'dead', 'it' must mean 'the dog'! So the two parts of the sentence don't match: the first part 'I've had a dog' is talking about 'the experience of having a dog' but the second part of the sentence 'but now it's dead' is talking about the dog itself. Therefore the sentence is wrong and it should be 'I had a dog but now it's dead'.

Hope that helps :)
 
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