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.

  • 1
    Have you read about Past Perfect, Simple Past, etc at all?
    – Noah
    Jun 9, 2012 at 8:09
  • 1
    Yes, but not all books explain it very well. I was just confused about the grammar.
    – user963241
    Jun 9, 2012 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


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).

  • As an example; I told him that when I was five, I had had a dog. Jun 9, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 12:15

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