Author Topic: When to use "have had" ?  (Read 22774 times)

kat

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Re: When to use "have had" ?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 10:55:17 AM »
Sir, I have done some research on your contention:"Have had" is used to form the future perfect form of a verb, as in this sentence: "I will have had eaten by the time she arrives." I make three observations:

1. The Merriam-Webster does not agree with you; the Oxford does not agree with you; the American Heritage does not agree with you.

2.  My first 12 Google hits for "future perfect" do not agree with you.

3.  It is an undeniable fact that no native English speaker would use such a sentence.

Your statement that with:“I will have had eaten by the time she arrives,” the sense is that the speaker will have finished eating long before the woman’s expected arrival seems to me to give a subtlety to the verb form that it really doesn't possess.   To give such a sense, native English speakers employ determining adverbs of time, e.g. "I will have long eaten by the time she arrives", or "I will have eaten long before she arrives".

Similarly with:“I will have eaten when she arrives.” The sense would then be that the speaker will have finished eating shortly before or right at the moment of the woman’s arrival.   To give that sense, the native English speaker would use "I will have just eaten when she arrives".

Joe Carillo

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Re: When to use "have had" ?
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2013, 09:20:39 AM »
I’m delighted that you’ve done some pretty thorough research to back up your claim that no native English speaker would use a sentence like “I will have had eaten by the time she arrives,” where “have had” is used to form the future perfect form of the verb “eat.” Evidently, this confirms that the three references you cited actually describe—but perhaps don’t necessarily prescribe—that for the future perfect form, the verbal auxiliary “had” in the sentence “I will have had eaten by the time she arrives” is unnecessary, as pointed out by Forum member Davebox. Also, even if only for the sound of it, the use of such determining adverbs of time as “long” and “just” is indeed a much more elegant way to evoke that particular nuance for the future perfect. I would go as far as to recommend the use of those adverbs myself to writers or speakers to show that they are conversant with English.

What I must vehemently disagree with is the extremely polemical and, truth to be told, intellectually dishonest way you present your findings about the proper form of the future perfect. It’s definitely a stretch to say that Merriam-Webster's, Oxford, American Heritage, and your first 12 Google hits for the “future perfect” don’t agree with me on its usage. Frankly, I would consider it a great honor and privilege if those sources of yours indeed went on record that they didn’t agree with me in particular, Jose Carillo, on this score. Of course, it’s obvious that none of them did. This rhetorical contention of yours is therefore obviously misleading and downright wrong, and I must say that it’s a more serious assault on English semantics than the use of the verbal auxiliary “had” in the contested future perfect phrase “will have had eaten” that you so vehemently condemn.

I would say that an even more reckless and dishonest contention is your claim that “It is an undeniable fact that no native English speaker would use such a sentence.” To begin with, as I showed in my earlier posting in reply to Davebox’s feedback, at least several native English speakers—among them qualified linguists—use and have gone out of their way in Language Log and LanguageHat.com to defend the form “will have had gone” as a grammatically and semantically correct form of the future perfect. This fact alone disproves your contention that no native English speaker would use such a sentence. The truth of the matter is that some educated English speakers—whether native or nonnative users of the language—who happen not to be conversant with such determining adverbs of time as “long” and “just,” indeed use “had” as their grammatical and semantic equivalents in forming the future perfect. So really now, by what authority can you say that “it is an undeniable fact” that no native English speaker would use that particular form for the future perfect? Are you so well-traveled a linguist or at least such a discerning observer that you have actually listened to all of the native English speakers in all of the world’s English-speaking countries in the act of not using the sentence in question here? I venture to say that unless you properly qualify yourself in this regard, you really don’t have the authority to make such a sweeping declaration.

I think some measure of humility would make you a more credible commentator about English, regardless of whether you are a native or nonnative speaker of the language. Indeed, just to bring this discussion to a peaceable close, I would suggest that you reword your statement perhaps this way: “I have never heard any native English speaker use the future perfect that way.” As proof, you might add that for many years now, you have traveled extensively at least all over North America, the United Kingdom, and the British Commonwealth observing the future-perfect usage of practically all of their native English speakers. That, to my mind, is a precise, factual, and totally unassailable assertion that will not bring to question your intellectual honesty and the quality of your judgment as a language critic.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 01:02:53 PM by Joe Carillo »

kat

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Re: When to use "have had" ?
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2013, 10:09:42 AM »

Sir, herewith Merriam-Webster's definition of 'future perfect":

Definition of FUTURE PERFECT

: of, relating to, or constituting a verb tense that is traditionally formed in English with will have and shall have and that expresses completion of an action by a specified time that is yet to come.


and the Oxford definition of future perfect:
noun
Grammar
a tense of verbs expressing expected completion in the future, in English exemplified by will have done.

and the American Heritage definition: A verb tense that expresses action completed by a specified time in the future and that is formed in English by combining will have or shall have with a past participle.

Your readers can doubtlessly decide for themselves which grammar authority they choose to believe.   

Joe Carillo

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Re: When to use "have had" ?
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2013, 11:29:53 AM »
Kat, I wish you wouldn’t further becloud the issue. Those definitions of the future perfect have not been disputed here. I just took exception to the following sweeping statement of yours regarding the form “I will have had eaten by the time she arrives”: “It is an undeniable fact that no native English speaker would use such a sentence.” As I have shown, this statement is misleading and logically indefensible given the level of incidence of the usage of the form “will + have had + past participle” that you condemn as wrong. Indeed, in the Language Log discussion thread I referred to, Google was reported to have gotten 122,000,000 hits regarding the use of that form by native English speakers (some of them linguists in their own right) and English learners alike. Doesn’t this clearly disprove your statement?

kat

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Re: When to use "have had" ?
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2013, 04:16:33 PM »

Sir, you should check your Google "facts" more closely.  Here is what "Adrian" says in the LanguageLog site you referred me to:   "you really do need to do a "sticky" blogpost about Google hits and what they mean. I defy anyone to find more than 30 examples of "will have had gone" on the internet.

[(myl) That's a good point — Google's usual merely egregious over-estimation really goes bananas in this case. Bing actually claims just 24 results. Google claims "about 249,000,000 results", but will only show us 69 of them; and at least 32 of those are quotes or re-publications of this Language Log post, leaving only 69-32 = 37 possible hits. And some of those are clearly typographical errors and the like.

So I think we might get higher than 30 real examples — but the validated total is going to be closer to 30 than to 249 million…"   

To adapt to your standards of credibility, I will say that, in all my travels in North America, Europe, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries (and in your own Luzon), and in my teaching of ESL, I have never heard the "I will have had gone.." construction as a future perfect.

Indeed, since you agree that the use of determining adverbs is the more elegant (I would say correct) way to establish aspect, one wonders why you didn't establish that in your original post.


Joe Carillo

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Re: When to use "have had" ?
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2013, 05:34:33 PM »
Well, kat, I think this conclusion of yours settles the issue about the “will + have had + participle” form of the future perfect once and for all: “So I think we might get higher than 30 real examples — but the validated total (italicization mine) is going to be closer to 30 than to 249 million…” I would think that this conclusively debunks your own sweeping statement that “It is an undeniable fact that no native English speaker would use such a sentence.” And on the face of your own persnickety analysis of Google’s reported references to the disputed usage, you’ve admitted that at least some 30 real-life English speakers actually do use that disputed form without being apologetic about it.

I have just one beef about your arithmetical analysis: you have put words into my mouth in the process. I never said that Google cited 249,000,000 instances of the usage of “will have had gone.” My exact words: “Google was reported to have gotten 122,000,000 hits regarding the use of that form by native English speakers (some of them linguists in their own right) and English learners alike.” That’s English that, to me, doesn’t sound like claiming 122,000,000 instances of the usage, but only making a count of the purported Google hits of comments about it. I’d say that this sort of nitpicking on your part somehow detracts from the earnestness of your analysis.

Now, as to your admirable attempt to adapt to my standards of credibility, I’d say that you’ve made a good start. I’m hoping, though, that your tacking on the phrase “in my teaching of ESL” to your purported travel credentials to English-speaking countries isn’t just a gratuitous rhetorical flourish but a factual claim. At any rate, kat, I’m delighted by your new tact. It should go a long way in making your postings genuinely instructive and useful in clarifying rather than beclouding grammar and usage issues here in the Forum.

kat

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Re: When to use "have had" ?
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2013, 02:28:16 PM »
We shall see, sir.    As to the matter of Google hits and their validity as markers of correct usage, you need look no farther that that regrettable American idiom, "off of".   Google records a staggering 17+ BILLION hits for it, but that, to me, makes it no less unacceptable.