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I came across this sentence in Ray Monk's Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude, 1872-1921, Volume 1:

On the contrary, she had just written — and had had accepted by The Nineteenth Century — a polemic of her own entitled 'A reply from the daughters', which defended the right of ….

What is the structure of "had had accepted" in the above sentence? Is it of the form:"past perfect + p.p.", or of the form:"have/had + object + past perfect" , with the object "pulled out to the end"? Is there a passive voice in it?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, user140086, Brian Hooper, Sven Yargs, TimLymington Jan 17 '16 at 10:45

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  • You truncated the sentence such that we can't judge it's legitimacy very well, but "He had had a good time at the party" is perfectly legitimate. – Hot Licks Jan 14 '16 at 19:05
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    The "had had" is in parallel with "had just written." You can see what's going on more clearly if you insert the implied "just" into the second parallel verb construction: "she had just written and had just had accepted." Obviously if she had just written the piece, the acceptance must likewise have just happened. Both "had written" and "had had accepted" attach directly to the subject "She." – Sven Yargs Jan 16 '16 at 11:29
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Witness the following progression of sentences:

She had her paper accepted.

She had had her paper accepted by the time the deadline was extended.

It was the best paper that she had had accepted by that time.

In other words, in your sentence, the first "had" is the usual past perfect marker, but the second "had" is a passive voice marker for the object, whatever it might be (hidden by your ellipsis).


ETA: This is more or less sense 20 from here:

to hold or put in a certain position or situation:

The problem had me stumped. They had him where they wanted him.

but with the object pulled out to the end of the sentence.

  • Right, so that means that she had just written the polemic, and the Nineteenth Century (a journal, presumably?) had accepted it. – Brian Tung Jan 14 '16 at 20:52
  • @alex: I added a bit of discussion. – Brian Tung Jan 14 '16 at 21:15

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