Had vs Had Had
Most of the time the difference between had and had had is not understood clearly. As a result, had and had had are often confused when it comes to their usage and application. Mainly, had is the past tense of the verb ‘to have.’ Then, the word had is used as an auxiliary verb, and it is used in the past perfect tense. On the other hand, the expression had had is very rare in usage, and it is generally used to emphasize something. It is also the past perfect tense of the verb ‘to have’.
What does Had Had mean?
Had had is the past perfect form of the verb ‘to have.’ Observe the two sentences given below.
She had had her breakfast when he came.
They had had a fight three years ago.
In both the sentences mentioned above, we get the idea that the speakers are referring to the past. Past perfect is used to speak about an action that took place in the past. By the time we refer to in the past these actions have already taken place. In the first sentence, she had already eaten when he came. Then, in the second they had fought three years ago. You will see that in both sentences, had had is used without using the past perfect tenses of the verbs eat and fight respectively.
Now, have a look at these sentences.
I had had enough of that.
She had had a great help from his brother.
In both the sentences, you can see that the word had had is used in a special and figurative sense with the meaning of ‘certainly.’ The meaning of the first sentence would be ‘I certainly had enough of that’, and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘she certainly had a great help from his brother.’
What does Had mean?
Had is the past tense of the verb ‘to have.’ Look at the following examples.
I had a car.
They had a bike.
She had a kite.
Had is also used as an auxiliary verb in the past perfect tense. Now, look at the two sentences given below.
I had received the letter last month.
You had listened to him previously.
In both the words, you can see that the verb had is used in the past perfect tense as an auxiliary verb. It is used along with the past participle form of the corresponding verb. It is important to know that the verb had does not stand on its own. It has to be formed with the help of a past participle form. This is an important observation to make when it comes to the usage of the word had.
The verb had when used with the auxiliary verb ‘been’ gives the meaning of ‘visited’ as in the sentence ‘she had been to Australia twice’. In this sentence you get the idea that ‘she visited Australia twice’.
What is the difference between Had and Had Had?
• Had is the past tense of the verb ‘to have.’
• Then, the word had is used as an auxiliary verb, and it is used in the past perfect tense.
• Had had is the past perfect form of the verb to have.
• The verb had when used with the auxiliary verb ‘been’ gives the meaning of ‘visited.’
• Had had sometimes gives the meaning ‘certainly.’
• Had had is very rare in usage, and it is generally used to emphasize something.