Choose the correct answers:
- Sandia __________ (had, had been having, had had) a severe toothache for three days by the time she went to see her dentist.
- She also __________ (had, had been having, had had) a worsening headache caused by the toothache. This was the one of the reasons she made the dental appointment.
- When the dentist saw her, Sandia __________ (had not, did not have, had not had) anything to eat for two days.
If you type “had had” in Microsoft Word, a red wriggly line will appear underneath “had had”, indicating a spelling error. However, a human brain is smarter than a computer, and “had had” is not a mistake!
When you describe a past action or situation before another past event, you use the past perfect tense with “had + past participle”. The past participle of the main verb “have” is “had”, so you get “had had” as the complete verb of the sentence.
- In Sentence #1 and #2, had (helping verb) + had (past participle of the main verb “have”)
- In Sentence #3, had (helping verb) + not + had (past participle of the main verb “have”)
Note: In these three sentences, the main verb “have” is a non-action verb and cannot be used in a progressive tense. Therefore, “had been having” is wrong.
The date for the final exam approached so quickly. I __________ (had not, did not have, had not had) a chance to study for it. Fortunately, when it was time to submit the final exam, I __________ (had, have had, had had) some time to review my answers. I hoped that I __________ (did, have done, had done) well.
had had; had had; had not had
had not had; had had; had done