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"Most people who want to act have to sit through hours of auditioning and work their way up, whereas I seemed to have come straight in at the top, having had no experience at all."

I know it sounds correct, but shouldn't it say "I seemed to had come straight in at the top"? The "had come straight in at the top" was the earlier past action, and seemed is the later past action. Therefore, it should make sense that past perfect be used in this sentence.

Also, I don't understand why "having had no experience at all" doesn't seem to make any grammatical sense, yet it does.
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No, that rule only works with two finite verbs. There is no past perfect infinitive.

What's wrong with having had? It makes sense to me. Having had my breakfast, I proceeded to plan lunch.
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Hello Lunchbox

"To have come" is the present perfect infinitive, and is fine there. (Unfortunately there isn't a past perfect infinitive in English, so you can't say "to had come".) "To have come" puts the act of "coming" before "seeming", as you say: after he has arrived "at the top", his arrival seems very sudden.

"Having had no experience at all" qualifies "I": "having had" is the present perfect participle of "have". Before his arrival at the top, he had "no experience".

All the best,

MrP
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I read in a grammar book that "having had" is a past gerund, or something like that. One of the examples they gave was:

It seemed to have stopped raining.

Could I apply this rule to the original sentence?

Many people who want to act have to sit through hours of auditioning and work their way up, whereas I seemed to have came straight in at the top, having had no experience at all.

Also, could I say:

Many people who want to act have to sit through hours of auditioning and work their way up, whereas I seemed to have came straight in at the top, yet I had had no experience at all.

Thanks a lot! =)
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LunchboxMany people who want to act have to sit through hours of auditioning and work their way up, whereas I seemed to have came straight in at the top, having had no experience at all.

Thanks a lot! =)

seemed to have come in at the top (come is the past participle of come. come came come)