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In the following examples:

  • When I was five years old I had a dog.

Is this a past perfect sentence? Here, I know that the 'dog' is not a verb and because we use third form of verb after 'had' so this got me confused.

  • I just had a meal.

Is this a simple past sentence? Here, 'meal' is also not a verb.

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Have you read about Past Perfect, Simple Past, etc at all? –  Noah Jun 9 '12 at 8:09
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Yes, but not all books explain it very well. I was just confused about the grammar. –  user963241 Jun 9 '12 at 8:18
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Both of these sentences are in the simple past. The past perfect, also known as the pluperfect, is formed when the verb takes on the form "had [verb]", but in your examples, had is not acting as an auxiliary verb but rather as a normal verb, since it is not followed by another verb. Since had is not an auxiliary verb here, it is the simple past form of has (to have).

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As an example; I told him that when I was five, I had had a dog. –  TimLymington Jun 9 '12 at 12:20
    
What about the sentence: "I had to go" Here, go is a verb but it's not in the third form. is it correct? –  user963241 Jun 9 '12 at 17:41
    
@user963241- This is also simple past. Had is the main verb, which is followed by the infinitive to go. –  Noah Jul 23 '12 at 12:15
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