"I'd the house to myself."

Since "I'd" can be a contraction of I had, would it work in this case for "I had the house to myself?"

  • So it's more acceptable in British English, but does it apply to past tense too? Most of those examples were in present tense. – Mew Jul 5 '16 at 6:50
  • No. The contracted form is for where the word had or the whole phrase I had is secondary to the context, i.e., the emphasis is elsewhere in the sentence. "I'd told him." vs. "I had told him." Apparently, the focus in the example sentence is on possessing (having), if I read it correctly. – Kris Jul 5 '16 at 7:17
  • 1
    I think I'd is a contraction of I would – Archie Azares Jul 5 '16 at 7:37
  • @ArchieAzares it can be "I had" too - eg "I'd already told him to leave." – Max Williams Jul 5 '16 at 13:19

It seems incorrect to me.

While "I'd" seems to be a contraction for "I had", it's really only valid when "had" is part of a past perfect construction:

  • I'd gone to bed.

  • I'd given him the book.

  • I'd seen enough.

It does not seem appropriate to me as a general contraction for "I had" in any other case.

For more information, see Past Perfect — The English Club (scroll down to "Contraction with Past Perfect").

  • 1
    I agree, but it would be good to have a reference. – Law29 Jul 5 '16 at 6:36
  • @Law29: fair. I added a reference, although it's a simple website for teaching English. I am unfamiliar with where to find more scholarly references for such a subject, but I'd be happy to edit again if you can lead me to a better resource. – Pierce Darragh Jul 5 '16 at 6:42
  • It would be better to defer answering until you yourself can provide references. Opinion should be restricted to 'comments'. // The previous answers indicate that the situation is very different in the UK, where 'I've a new bike I'd like you to see' is standard. Using the contraction I'd where have is a main verb is much rarer. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 5 '16 at 8:05
  • @EdwinAshworth I see where you're coming from, and I'll be sure to follow that more closely in the future. However, I do not think this is a duplicate of the other question marked. "I've" is different from "I'd". I've heard "I've" used for possession here in the US too (though less frequently), but I have never heard "I'd" as OP was asking. – Pierce Darragh Jul 5 '16 at 17:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.