How can I express enforcement in the past,please looking at below sentence

present : He has to wait for a long time. past :He had to wait for a long time (it's not past perfect i want to mention an enforcement in the past)

Is second sentence true?

  • It is if he had to wait.
    – deadrat
    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:23
  • Note that we say a sentence is true or false depending on the real-life facts that it expresses. You may mean "Is the second sentence [grammatically] correct/incorrect?" Sep 9, 2015 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


He has to wait.

is present tense. He must wait now.

He had to wait [yesterday].

is past tense. He was forced to wait at some point in the past, perhaps yesterday.

He has had to wait [three times this week].

is present perfect. He was forced to wait at some indeterminate times in the past, which times could extend all the way up to the present.

[Before they built the new bridge] he had had to wait [for up to three hours to cross the river].

is past perfect. His waiting took place in the past but before a specified time also in the past, like the building of a new bridge.

He will have to wait [until I get back].

is future. His waiting extends beyond now, perhaps because I haven't returned.

He will have waited three hours by the time I get back.

is future perfect. It contemplates completed action in the future. I haven't returned yet but when I do, three hours of waiting will be over.

  • Precise, concise and lucid. Nailed it. Sep 9, 2015 at 8:03

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