12

There's no special magic with "had had", they don't really go together as a pair anymore than "had wanted" go together. So don't worry so much about how to use "had had" as a unit of grammar, they will come together naturally when you want to express the verb 'to have' in the past perfect. Let's consider a different verb for a moment like "to want". ...


11

As FumbleFingers noted, keep is acceptable. As to which is 'more right', if it is possible to have degrees of correctness, that is a question of style rather than grammar. In the antediluvian days of my youth, "I insisted that he kept..." could mean only that he kept ... at some past time, and at some later time I insisted on the truth of this. "I ...


11

I've given he a name to make for easier reference: Bob sighed and replied quickly, as if he had had only a few seconds' time before John changed his mind. This sentence is not wrong but the following might be better: Bob sighed and replied quickly, as if he had only a few seconds before John would change his mind. The past perfect in the original ...


10

In most cases, have is used as an auxiliary verb. Examples of auxiliary verbs, I have to go to school. I need to go to school. They have eaten breakfast. She has never played football. He does not eat breakfast. However, the verb have is also often used as a proper verb (as opposed to being an auxiliary verb) in place of proper verbs such as eat ...


9

This is my opinion as an American. The past perfect is not gone, but it is my impression that we don't use the past perfect when the simple past is sufficient to relay the intended meaning. Most of the time, as in your sentences, there are other constructions to supplement the simple past and convey it as perfect past. I heard about her before I met her. ...


8

In the particular instance raised by the OP, the suitability of B's wording depends on contextual details not provided in the posted question, and on how narrowly we define the word new. If the episode that A and B are watching is being broadcast for the first time on the occasion when they are watching and talking about it, and if new means "never broadcast ...


6

If you look at a little context, you can see that Conan-Doyle came adrift from his timeframe just a bit: The account of Mrs. Allen, the housekeeper, was, so far as it went, a corroboration of that of her fellow servant. The housekeeper's room was rather nearer to the front of the house than the pantry in which Ames had been working. She was preparing to ...


6

I think the sentence is fine. If it were spoken quickly, a native speaker would have no trouble understanding what is meant. However, the use of the conditional in the if clause ("If I would have gone to Canada") is an informal style that many style guides would advise against. I personally would call it "clunky." The American Heritage Dictionary has a ...


6

The past perfect construction is used to describe a past event that precedes another past event. In the example, the first event is the wind blowing out the candle, and the second event is the speakers finding themselves in the dark. That makes the second sentence an entirely appropriate way of saying what happened. The crucial word that indicates the ...


6

Your first sentence is indeed grammatical, but the second sentence is not. If you had just checked, that act of checking occurred prior to another past event, and no such other past event is identified in this second sentence. (Of course, the other past event could be identified earlier in the same text.) But the use of Present Perfect in the second ...


6

Try inserting the word "now" in the second half of the sentence: The scythe that had done the work [now] leaned against the tree. Those are two different actions being described, taking place at two different points in the past. First (earlier), the scythe did some work. THEN (later) it leaned against the tree, like so.


6

The phrase "it has been proved" means that something has been demonstrated to be true. It has been proved that one of the main reasons for the rapid propagation of false information is suspicious users. prove 2 Demonstrate to be the specified thing by evidence or argument. if they are proved guilty we won't trade with them The phrase "it has ...


5

In most contexts the first of the three would be the one to use. The other two would be possible only in rather unusual circumstances.


5

If I were reading a story that began I knew Mr. Brown for exactly 15 minutes. He had met me at the entrance and was now accompanying me to the meeting. I would expect the following things of the story: Mr. Brown would die 15 minutes after he had met First Person Narrator. FPN's second sentence would begin a narration of the circumstances of his death. (...


5

Tricky. If I understand you, you are asking for a construction which expresses contingent killing stretching from the 'reference point', where the murderer was in fact killed to some indefinite point—which with respect to the time of utterance might be 'now' 'before now' or 'after now' but with respect to the reference point must be 'after then'. I ...


5

I have examined is a present perfect construction, and so it describes the speaker’s state now. Any reference to a preceding event is expressed with another present perfect construction or with the past tense. A preceding event would normally be expressed with the past perfect construction only when the current event is itself moved to the past, as in I ...


5

It is correct. Both actions happened before the fact that the environmentalists helped the small sharks, that's why they need the Past Perfect form. The use of after specifies which of these two actions happened first, i.e. first the sharks swam through polluted waters, then they lost their way.


5

There is a meaning distinction between these: I left before they decided what to do. I left before they had decided what to do. The first one can have the nuance: I left specifically not to be there when they decide. The second one does not, and that form with the perfect would be used when the speaker wants to make it clear "I left before they ...


5

It can go either way in different contexts. If the court had insisted that everyone keep a straight face, the meaning of it is what you're supposing: that the court is, in the time frame referenced, insisting that portrait subjects remain serious in their portraits. If the court really had insisted that everyone kept a straight face, the object of the ...


5

As other answers have already suggested, B's sentence is in the past perfect tense (or past tense with perfect aspect), which is formed by taking the past tense form of the verb "have" ("had") followed by the past participle of the main verb. The past perfect is used with two different moods: Past Perfect + Subjunctive Mood The subjunctive mood in ...


5

There are three sentences in which the interaction of tenses, is being examined for error: During the 1950s, the Detroit area emerges as a metropolitan region with the construction of an extensive freeway system that had expanded in ensuing decades. In a discovery at least fifty years in the making, a new and bizarre dinosaur species has been ...


5

This is a question of 'past simple' (didn't think) vs 'past perfect' (hadn't thought). Past simple is used to indicate that something happened before the present. Past perfect is used to indicate that something happened before some other past event. So with this specific question lets label each of the events/actions: A - It was late B - I was trying to ...


4

You don't need a second had unless you wish to use one. Your example Among those on his right was Bob, the guy that had days earlier started the lease and so begun the first... is perfectly grammatical and clear: "the guy ... had ... started ... and ... begun ..." Even if you interject another clause the meaning and grammar are still fine: Among ...


4

You know, Harry has disappeared. This sentence sounds like Harry just disappeared recently. You know, Harry had disappeared. Using had makes it sound like Harry disappeared, but subsequently reappeared. I think the most correct version of the three is: You know, Harry disappeared. While it is ambiguous, it doesn't lead the listener to think the ...


4

Robusto's answer accounts quite clearly for Doyle's use, which reflects (I think tongue in cheek, but I could be wrong) the vices of contemporaneous journalism. Your own examples, however, do indeed reflect "a special, dedicated way to express some relations between moments of time". To pin down what the differences are, try recasting your abstract actions&...


4

Your answer was wrong. Would have demanded in the main clause requires had + past participle in the 'if' clause. The construction is sometimes known to foreign learners as the third conditional.


4

Yes, that's past perfect. Perhaps the problem is just that you don't want past perfect tense. The simple past will inform the reader of the same facts: On January 17th, our team represented [organization name] at [place]. You might favour the past perfect here if you were then going on to describe how that effected another event in the past, later than ...


4

...had worked... This is in the past perfect tense. ...had been working... This is in the past perfect continuous tense. The latter means she had been working continuously with an advertising company for the past 5 years. The first does not necessarily mean her work with the advertising company was uninterrupted over the five years.


4

Yes, it's completely correct. Past perfect is the past in the past.


4

Your first sentence uses a present perfect progressive active construction, while the second is a passive construction. Each has a different emphasis. The second doesn’t necessarily mean that the computer is no longer running, but the first would in any case be more normal. You could make it sound less formal by writing For How long has your computer been ...


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