Tag Archives: verbs

To Have and Have Not

A fellow grammarian recently complained about the misuse of “have/had.”  Like nails on a chalkboard, she can’t stand hearing, “I had went …” and “I had did …,” and neither can I. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but maybe it’s worth reviewing for those who still have trouble!

But rather than identify verbs, auxiliary verbs, past participles, etc., (I can imagine eyes glazing over!), I think it’s best to simply give some helpful hints. So …

Say the sentence with – and then without – the “have/had.” If the sentence works without “have/had,” don’t use it! If the sentence doesn’t make sense without it, well then, keep it.

I had went to the concert. I went to the concert. (Without, don’t you agree?)
I had gone to the concert. I gone to the concert. (With, of course!)

I have did everything you asked. I did everything you asked. (X-nay have.)
I have done everything you asked. I done everything you asked. (The “I’s” have it!)

So there you have it. I hope everyone has seen the light!

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