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Can you tell me (the rules) when to use the following in a sentence as I got confused and the grammer book that I refer to fail to explain the rules.

Have: I "have eaten" my dinner.
Has: She "has eaten" her dinner.
Had: She "had eaten" her dinner
Has had/ have had: She "has had" many years of experience.

I'll be most grateful if you can give me some examples and the rules governing the use of the above.
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Comments  (Page 3) 
ritu-------- finished at school (have has had)
I read through the posts and I didn't see a single one with "rules governing the use of" those words. Here I posted some rules I myself created that has helped me.

To have is a verb meaning to possess. (I have a car. He has a car. We have cars.)
But it can be used as an auxiliary verb that helps to indicate a time line.


past tense (ate) present tense (eat) future tense (will eat)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Past perfect (had eaten) present perfect (have eaten) future perfect (will have eaten)

If you simply use "have eaten", or "has eaten" (like he has eaten), then it is grammatically wrong.
You would instead say, he ate.

have+verb or has+verb is never wrong or right by itself; you have to check the usage.

So what is the whole purpose of "have", "has", and "had"?

Rule 0.5: These three terms are used to indicated a chronological of actions in your sentence. To use them, there must be at least TWO actions, and these terms help to indicate which one came first.


Rule 1: "had" indicates an action happened in the past before another action, which also occurred in the past. (thus, past perfect)

For example:
I ate. ( indicating that the action is already over ).
I had eaten before I studied. (in this case, the "had" tells the reader that you ate before you studied, but that you have also finished studying...or in a time line sense:
eat study present
----------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: simply saying "I had eaten" is wrong.

Rule 2: "have" is present perfect, meaning an action (or an event) happened/started in the past that is still occurring/affecting in the present.

for example:

After I ate dinner, I have been studying.
eat dinner study(present)
--------------------------------------------------

note: this is different from
After I ate dinner, I had been studying.
eat dinner study present (doing something else)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rule 3: "Has" is exactly the same as have except it is used as a singular auxiliary verb instead of plural (or in forms of "I")

for example:
Normal sentence: The U.S. Constitution effects our lives.
After it was published in the 18th century, the U.S. Constitution has affected our lives. (meaning it is still affecting)

note: this is different from
After it was published in the 18th century, the U.S. Constitution had affected our lives. (meaning it is no longer affecting our lives)

Rule 4: "will have" is future perfect tense, meaning something that will happen in the future after something else happened in the future.

Normal future tense:
I will study tomorrow.
He will study next week.
We will study the day after tomorrow.

Future perfect:
I will have studied before the test next week.
present study(future) test(future)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other basic rules:
Rule 5: Whenever you use auxiliary form of "have", you must follow it with a verb in its past participle form.
correct:
..........have eaten.............
..........has done.........
..........had finished.........
wrong:
..........have do.........
..........has complete....
..........had saw.............

Rule 6: Don't be confused
wrong: I had eaten before I had seen the man walking on the bridge before the bridge had been built.
grammatically it's correct, but logically it's wrong....how can a man walk on a bridge before it's built?

hope these rules help.
=)
~ magicd
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Thanks for your efforts, but you've got some mistakes here.
AnonymousIf you simply use "have eaten", or "has eaten" (like he has eaten), then it is grammatically wrong.
You would instead say, he ate.
No it's not.
Would you like to join us for lunch?
No thanks. I've eaten.
AnonymousI had eaten before I studied. (in this case, the "had" tells the reader that you ate before you studied, but that you have also finished studying...or in a time line sense:
eat study present
That's true, but the sequence is clearly given by using the word "before" so it's quite all right to say "I ate before I studied."
AnonymousNOTE: simply saying "I had eaten" is wrong.
I agree with you here - you need to say what the subsequent action was for this to be the right tense.
AnonymousRule 2: "have" is present perfect, meaning an action (or an event) happened/started in the past that is still occurring/affecting in the present.

Not necessarily. It means it could still occur again in the future. (I've eaten at that restuarant). It could mean it's very recent, although finished. (Someone has shot the president!). It shows a connection to what is going on right now. (We have received your application.) It doesn't need to be still occurring. Okay, you did say "affecting" the present, but your example did not.
for example:
AnonymousAfter I ate dinner, I have been studying.
No! Don't say since. Since I ate dinner, I've been studying. But: After I ate dinner, I studied.
Anonymousfor example:
Normal sentence: The U.S. Constitution affects our lives.
Since it was ratified in the 18th century, the U.S. Constitution has affected our lives. (meaning it is still affecting)

note: this is different from
After it was published in the 18th century, the U.S. Constitution had affected our lives. (meaning it is no longer affecting our lives) -- this would need an "until" or the past perfect makes no sense.

I am somewhat agree with hitchhiker.
However, I think I have some different rules regarding perfect tenses based on what I have learnt.
I think when we talk about the tense, it has something got to do with time line.

Based on my interpretation,

1)I have eaten my dinner
She has eaten her dinner
The action of eating is already completed in the past which the time is not stated.

2)She had eaten her dinner
The action was already completed in the past in which the time was not stated.

What distinguish 1) and 2) is that,
we use 1) when we use present tense so that the writer will keep the consistency of the tense throughout the event whereas 2) was normally use in the past tense for example in telling an event in the past.

3) She has had many years of experience.
It may be explained using the rule 1) just that the word come after the perfect tense indicator 'has', 'have' or 'had' should be in past participle form. That's why 'She has had many years of experience.' The word 'has' indicates it's a simple perfect tense which means the action is completed in an indefinite time in the past while the 'had' is a past participle form of 'has' which is originally the root verb of the sentence. The whole sentence means she has done it for a several years in the past at which she has most probably stopped doing it for a while. Or that she has been doing it for a long time could be accepted as well depending on the context.

I think the the usage of 'has' 'have' and 'had' depends on the context. It will be clearer if we explain it in context where the timeline can be seen.

Hope it makes sense.
Why do you use has or had in front of the verb?
If I use your example why would I choose "I had eaten..." rather than "I ate..."??
What are have and had and why are they so important?
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Hi,

Have you studied the Present Perfect and Past Perfect tenses yet?
If not, start with Present Perfect. Have a look here for details.
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbtenseintro.html

Post here again if you have more questions about this, or if you want to try to write some sentences using Present Perfect.

Clive
well you see.. when using has, had or have. the verb must always be in past participle..
" She had eaten her dinner " is wrong usage.
Instead it should be " She has eaten her dinner"
Past Perfect

had eaten or had + past participle
It should be used if and only if there were 2 past events and one occurred before the other, where the earlier action should be in past perfect & the 2nd event should be in simple past.

For example: The sun had set before I drove to my hotel.

Here the event of the sun setting happened before the person drove back to his hotel.

Important: Consider this example: The child stopped crying when the mother gave her milk

Here the past participle is not used because both events took place at the same time.
Need explanation for your other questions ?Emotion: smile
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