Have had and had had

Have is one of those auxiliary verbs that can also be used as an ordinary (main) verb. When have is used as an auxiliary verb, it helps us to form the perfect and perfect continuous tenses.

Study the examples given below.

  • I have finished the report.

Here the auxiliary verb have forms the present perfect tense with the past participle finished.

  • I have been working on that report.

Here the auxiliary have helps in the formation of the present perfect continuous tense.

Have can also be used as a main verb. In this case it is followed by an object. As a main verb, have is used to talk about our possessions, relations, experiences etc.

  • I have a sister.
  • She has a car.
  • He has a nice job.
  • I have breakfast at 8.30.
  • I have a shower before I go to bed.
  • I have a nap in the afternoon.

When have is used as an ordinary verb, it has past and past participle forms.

  • I usually have bread and butter for breakfast, but yesterday I had pasta.
  • I had a heavy breakfast in the morning, now I don’t feel like eating anything.

The present perfect form of have is have had.

  • Have you had your breakfast?’ ‘I have had a cup of coffee, but I haven’t had anything to eat yet.’
  • I haven’t had any rest since morning.

The past perfect form of have is had had (had + past participle form of have).

The past perfect tense is used when we are talking about the past and want to refer back to an earlier past time.

  • She felt marvelous after she had had a good night’s sleep.
  • They dismissed him before he had had a chance to apologize.