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Friday, January 7, 2011

Grammar Lesson 1: The uses of HAS and HAD

HAS and HAD


“Has” and “had” can be main verbs or auxiliary (helping) verbs. “Has” is the singular simple present tense form of the verb “have” and “had” is the simple past tense and also past participle of the verb “have”. You use “has” in a sentence when the subject is a singular noun or pronoun (except for “I” and “you”) and the sentence is in the simple present tense. “Had” is used with both singular and plural subjects.


As a main verb, “have” means “to own”, but it has other meanings as well, among them “to eat”. You will have to consult a dictionary for the other meanings. Here are some examples of the use of “has” and “had” as main verbs:


“He has a cat that he is very fond of.” (has=owns)

“Shalini has breakfast at 7.30 every morning.” (has=eats)

He had a cat last year, but the cat died. (had=owned)

The students had dinner late last night. (had=ate)

“Has” is also used as an auxiliary verb in a sentence using the present perfect tense, which talks about an action that was done in the past, without giving the time when it was done. A present perfect tense verb consists of “has” or “have” + the past participle of the main verb. “Has” is used with singular subjects and “have” with plural subjects. Here are some examples:

“She has seen the film.” (has + past participle of “see”, which is “seen” and no time is given)

“My friend has gone to Egypt to study medicine.” (has + past participle of “go”, which is “gone” – no time given)

“Had” is used as an auxiliary verb in a sentence using the past perfect tense, which talks about two actions or events, one of which was completed before the other happened. A past perfect tense verb consists of “had” + the past participle of the main verb. The earlier action/event is expressed in the past perfect tense, and the later action/event in the simple past tense. Here are some examples:

“We had eaten our dinner when our friends came.”

“Ahmad had given up hope of going to a university when a letter arrived offering him a place in the university of his second choice.”


Resources: Especially thanks to
http://miszsensei.blogspot.com/

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