Is the former less common for native English speakers because it kinda sound like I done? I'm basing this assumption on Ngrams. But I may be wrong.

Example sentences:

Plus, I was ashamed to admit, I'd done nothing for the club so far.

Plus, I was ashamed to admit, I had done nothing for the club so far.

  • 2
    There is a slight difference in the sound (basically duration and emphasis), and I'd doubt anybody thinks about it much.
    – Robusto
    Mar 12, 2015 at 11:50
  • In conversational English, "I'd done" is significantly more common than "I had done". Mar 12, 2015 at 13:54
  • 1
    Ngram is not a reliable source for speech trend, it is a record of written texts. Whether people say "I'd done it earlier" more or less frequently than "I had done it earlier" would be very difficult to assess or prove. However, the auxiliary had is sometimes stressed to emphasize the time difference between then and now.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 12, 2015 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


I'd done is the contracted form of I had done, and it is used in spoken English more often, since the shorter forms are usually the feature of the spoken language (the economy principle in language). Of course they are also pronounced differently.

Here is a nice reference: http://web.stanford.edu/~bresnan/contraction.pdf


"I'd done" would be the most common way to phrase that in casual speech. However, if you were writing something formal it would be more common to write, "I had done".

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