Past Perfect Tense

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Past Perfect Tense

by Badri » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:58 pm
In the following sentence, is the use of "had" twice correct?

If she had had more money, she would have bought a bigger house.

I feel it should be used only once. Is there a specific rule for such sentences. This appeared in one of the grammar books.

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by jayhawk2001 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:59 pm
When there are 2 events in the past, the earlier event uses the past
perfect form of the verb i.e. had + <verb>

Now, there are cases where one has to use "had" in its actual form
i.e. to possess. Sentences involving such a construction uses the rather
weird "had had" verb form to denote that this event happened prior
to another in the past.

"If she had had more money, she would have bought a bigger house"

In the sentence above, "bought" already denotes the past. So, it is
correct to use "had had"

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by Badri » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:03 pm
So, If I understand you correctly, if we use "had" only once, then both events would be in the past tense and that would not set up a correct time relation.

So "had had" achieves that.....got it! ...Thanks

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by Stacey Koprince » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:22 pm
Exactly! And if you wanted to use just one "had," you'd say:

If she had more money, she would buy a bigger house
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by Cybermusings » Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:23 am
Thank you once again JayHawk...Very good explanation