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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Town's Crier » Have had vs had had vs had...?
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Topic Subject:Have had vs had had vs had...?
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remato
Squire
posted 08-08-08 04:49 PM CT (US)         
Native speakers,



help!


I got these confusing sentences from BBC, (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv343.shtml.
If she had had children later in life, she would have been a better mother.
What's the difference between that sentence and "If she had children later in life, she would have been a better mother"?
She'd had a lot to drink and wasn't capable of walking home by herself.
What's the difference between that and "She had a lot to drink and wasn't capable of walking home by herself"?

The thing is, I don't quite understand why English ancestors came up with a concept so baffling as "had had" and "have had", when to me it seems as if there's no difference between these two and "had". How should I know when to use "have had", "had had", and "had" appropriately?
AuthorReplies:
Aro
AoKH Dictator
posted 08-08-08 05:23 PM CT (US)     1 / 45       
Another one is "If he had known that that lone baby deer was on the road, he would've swerved."

Basically, I always view a "double had" as incorrect, but... I'm no language professional. I had always thought that any sentence that has a double of a single word is incorrect.

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Major Helper
AoKH Survivor, Mr. White Teeth
posted 08-08-08 05:31 PM CT (US)     2 / 45       
had and have point out, that the stuff in the sentence has already happened, whilst only using had would mean, that you're kind of saying that it should happen in the future

if she had children; sounds like you wish something

if she had had children; she's incapable of it now (had means that the action has been completed, and in this sentence it sounds like she's dead or barren now)

just my two cents

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Aro
AoKH Dictator
posted 08-08-08 05:34 PM CT (US)     3 / 45       
How about "would've" as an alternative then? "If she would've had children later in life." Same meaning. Maybe they thought it would've sounded redundant using "would've" twice in the same sentence, but two "had"'s is even worse.

» Your attractive master.
» "Because I before E is a LIE!!!"
Solivago
Squire
posted 08-08-08 06:29 PM CT (US)     4 / 45       
Man I am so tempted to do this out of amusement, but don't click this link unless you really fancy English conundrums

Have in English is such a dirty, perplexing word. It can act as a verb but also describe a condition/state.

Both cases appear to me as the past perfect. When you say "she had had children", the first had is describing the state she'd be. So the sentence could just be rephrased, "If she had raised children later in life, she would have been a better mother". The second one like this "She'd been given/ allowed herself(I can't think of a better substitution without rearranging the structure) to drink and wasn't capable of walking home by herself". Hope this helps some.

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[This message has been edited by Solivago (edited 08-08-2008 @ 06:29 PM).]

Gwame
Squire
posted 08-08-08 08:11 PM CT (US)     5 / 45       
Basically, I always view a "double had" as incorrect, but...
I don't, but I see how it would be confusing to non-native English speakers.

1) "If I had had time to think it through, I wouldn't have done it".

2) "If I'd had time to think it through, I wouldn't have done it."

3) If I would've had time to think it through, I wouldn't have done it."

I'd personally use number two.

Edit: By the way, Aro, using "would've" isn't really a proper substitute. Think of the sentence, "She had had enough of the misbehaviour." It describes the past tense only, not the conditional.

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"

[This message has been edited by Gwame (edited 08-08-2008 @ 08:13 PM).]

morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 08-09-08 02:41 AM CT (US)     6 / 45       
Heh. You people should try to learn estonian. You wouldn't last a minute.

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Solivago
Squire
posted 08-09-08 03:33 AM CT (US)     7 / 45       
Quaazi, you're probably not far from the truth. I hear the average European knows at least five languages. I'm a modest American and all I know is Yo hablo espanol (too lazy for tilde). For all my interests in language, I would have died to be European.

{___ ک OLIVAGO ___╣}

He's a real nowhere Man / Sitting in hisNowhere Land / Making all his nowhere plans
...for nobody -Beatles Song

{╠___{ AoKH Main | My Blog | Code of Conduct }___╣}
---
morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 08-09-08 03:37 AM CT (US)     8 / 45       
Yeah. I'm 17, and I speak estonian, finnish, german (to a certain extent) and logically, english. And I can swear a lot in russian.

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Evil Tailor
Squire
(id: Other White Meat)
posted 08-09-08 04:31 AM CT (US)     9 / 45       
English is by no means a logical language but point to me a natural language that is completely logical EXCEPT SWEDISH. What's your native language remato? Maybe someone'll speak it and explain via translations.

Oh, and about Europeans knowing averagely five languages, that is humbug. Most Brits only know English, a great deal of French only know French and very basic English, most Finns I know only speak Finnish and English, some also Swedish and German.
She'd had a lot to drink and wasn't capable of walking home by herself.

What's the difference between that and "She had a lot to drink and wasn't capable of walking home by herself"?
All this is about expression. 'She had a lot to drink and wasn't capable of walking home by herself' is a different way of expressing it and implies a slight difference to the other sentence:
'She had had a lot to drink...' implies this happened before and the situation was solved in one way or another.
'She had a lot to drink...' implies we're kind of still in the pub and you should say 'She had a lot to drink and isn't capable of walking home by herself.' 'She had a lot to drink' is also when she still has a hangover or something, while 'She had had...' is more like 'Nowadays she rarely drinks.' or something like that.

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[This message has been edited by Other White Meat (edited 08-09-2008 @ 04:44 AM).]

Murloc
Squire
posted 08-09-08 05:54 AM CT (US)     10 / 45       
5 languages? omg this can't be true.
I speak (some not very well but I'm young..): italian, english, german and french.
They're 4, and most of the ppl in switzerland speaks 3-4 languages.

and italians, omg, they speak italian and english, but some can speak it very well, but the majority doesn't speak it or speak it very bad.
Major Helper
AoKH Survivor, Mr. White Teeth
posted 08-09-08 06:22 AM CT (US)     11 / 45       
I speak finnish and english (obiviously), swedish, japanese (very little, still learning) and am planning to learn at least spanish, but possibly germanese and italian as well later in my life

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I spent 3 months trying to convince a door that I was an intelligent life form and gave up. - TLM
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morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 08-09-08 06:28 AM CT (US)     12 / 45       
One tip: if you go to a military career, learn basic french so you can accept enemy surrenders.

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Julius999
Imposter
posted 08-09-08 08:41 AM CT (US)     13 / 45       
I speak only English and a smattering of French and German.

As for the 'had' thing:
'I had a lot to drink...'
This is the simple past tense, with 'had' being the correctly conjugated form of 'have'.
'I had had a lot to drink...'
This is the past perfect and shows that the 'having of a lot to drink' happened earlier. The sentence could continue '...so I tripped over a paving stone and broke my nose'. This is normally used when something happened before something else that also occured in the past (as in my example).
"I have had a lot to drink."
This is the present perfect tense and refers to an action in the past that may be continuing.
How about "would've" as an alternative then? "If she would've had children later in life." Same meaning. Maybe they thought it would've sounded redundant using "would've" twice in the same sentence, but two "had"'s is even worse.
This is actually different. It uses the conditional tense also and needs a second clause to make sense. Two "had"s is past perfect, "would've had" is conditional present perfect. It is often used incorrectly though, which is why you thought it meant the same thing.

I hope that makes it a bit clearer, you most likely have similar tenses in your own language, but it's often hard to recognise them. English constructs them all in a similar way, which causes confusion.

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[This message has been edited by Julius999 (edited 08-09-2008 @ 11:01 AM).]

Emperor Alexander
Squire
(id: Alex Coles)
posted 08-09-08 10:42 AM CT (US)     14 / 45       
Us Engländers are pathetic to be honest. We learn English and then when we're like 90 we're taught French. If taught at a younger we can pick it up better. However, I can speak English, a bit of German (I stopped teaching myself a few years ago so it's actually really shocking) and the French I learn in school. Though I don't remember it because I only recall being exhausted in lessons and thanking God when the lesson is over. i couldn't last in Germany or France for five minutes without some text book!

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morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 08-09-08 10:54 AM CT (US)     15 / 45       
Ironic that a thread about grammar is the activeest one.

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Emperor Alexander
Squire
(id: Alex Coles)
posted 08-09-08 10:55 AM CT (US)     16 / 45       
Too bad there is no Canadian Lord or Michael1 to lighten up the forum. Canadian Lord seems to be the legend of this forum (reading his leaving thread made me wet myself laughing).

"...there's a difference between offering constructive criticism and going out of your way to be a dick." - Aro
Gwame
Squire
posted 08-09-08 10:59 AM CT (US)     17 / 45       
Ironic that a thread about grammar is the activeest one
Where's the irony?

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 08-09-08 11:12 AM CT (US)     18 / 45       
Firstly, my intentional grammar mistake, secondly, the natural good grammar here.

Morgoth Bauglir/Quaazi - BORINGMETAL HEADTWAT
Huidin's Belief - The Siege (4.4) - 2475 - Birth Of The Uruk-Hai (4.1) (Best Sound of 2008)
Signature currently under construction. If you want to help out and provide me with the resources needed, download from the above links.
Gwame
Squire
posted 08-09-08 11:27 AM CT (US)     19 / 45       
The intentional mistake being the word "activeest" or the use of the word "ironic"?

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 08-09-08 11:37 AM CT (US)     20 / 45       
If I'd misuse the word "ironic", it wouldn't be a grammar mistake, now would it?

Morgoth Bauglir/Quaazi - BORINGMETAL HEADTWAT
Huidin's Belief - The Siege (4.4) - 2475 - Birth Of The Uruk-Hai (4.1) (Best Sound of 2008)
Signature currently under construction. If you want to help out and provide me with the resources needed, download from the above links.
Gwame
Squire
posted 08-09-08 12:10 PM CT (US)     21 / 45       
I guess it depends on whether or not definition falls under the grammar umbrella.

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
Evil Tailor
Squire
(id: Other White Meat)
posted 08-09-08 12:10 PM CT (US)     22 / 45       
Well, 'activeest' is a spelling mistake, not a grammar mistake. A grammar mistake were something else.

"While I'm profaning I might as well do the whole f*cking thing."
-- Christopher Hitchens
http://soundcloud.com/adult-entertainment - Intriguing music! Made by me! (It's excellent!)
morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 08-09-08 12:23 PM CT (US)     23 / 45       
Potato, potahto. It all amounts to me being awesome in the end.

Morgoth Bauglir/Quaazi - BORINGMETAL HEADTWAT
Huidin's Belief - The Siege (4.4) - 2475 - Birth Of The Uruk-Hai (4.1) (Best Sound of 2008)
Signature currently under construction. If you want to help out and provide me with the resources needed, download from the above links.
Gwame
Squire
posted 08-09-08 05:04 PM CT (US)     24 / 45       
Well, 'activeest' is a spelling mistake, not a grammar mistake
Does grammar not encompass spelling? English is vague, I dunno.

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
Eaglehaslanded
Squire
posted 08-09-08 05:56 PM CT (US)     25 / 45       
The ancient and noble art of spelling is concerned only with each individual word having the correct letters in the correct order in the correct quantities.

In contrast, the ancient and noble art of grammar is concerned with the arrangement of words into sentences, so that each sentences makes sense in accordance with the grammatical rules of the individual language and thus can communicate information in a way which is both easy to understand and precise.

E.g.

My tank is fight!
Correct spelling, incorrect grammar

I think that cheez is exreemble awhesome.
Correct grammar, incorrect spelling.

.^/¯/        Eaglehaslanded
  \  /~   
  ///      You, sir, are a wench - Scud
 '' ''     You, Sir, are a wrench - Reach

[This message has been edited by Eaglehaslanded (edited 08-10-2008 @ 12:35 PM).]

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