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I have watched 6 episodes of Kuzu no Honkai.

Since from the time I was born up until now I write this sentence, I have watched 6 episodes of Kuzu no Honkai, so it uses "have".

I had watched 6 episodes of Kuzu no Honkai.

Since the action "watch" was done in the past and I didn't repeatedly watch from time to time, it uses "had".

Which sentence is more natural and intuitive?

  • This might help you understand the difference: in both of them, the watching is in the past. But the difference between have and had is exactly the same as in "Yesterday, I had no money" and "Today, I have no money" - when we're referring to "as of right now" it's, I have; when we're referring to a time in the past, it's I had. – stangdon Feb 23 '17 at 21:03
  • The tense you use here isn't about the action of watching the episodes, it is about the state. The state is either that you still have only watched six (present tense) or that you had previously watched six but that state is in the past tense because since then you have watched more. You'd also say "had" if you were talking about events of a specific night "I had watched six episodes of Kuzu no Honkai and was feeling tired" – Peter Morris Feb 23 '17 at 22:49
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It's not actually a matter of "natural"-ness. In this case - assuming you're not stating there's a change in this number - the correct answer is "have".

I have watched 6 episodes of Kuzu no Honkai.

This is current information, so it's present tense.

"Had" in this sentence implies that it is no longer the case so it would be used in a situation like:

I had watched 6 episodes of Kuzu no Nonkai until yesterday... but then I had a binge-watching session and completed the series.

So, now you've watched all of the episodes, which is why you use the past tense.

Similarly, if you had a friend over to watch the show with you, you might have a conversation like:

Friend: Before today, how many episodes of Kuzu no Nonkai had you watched?
You: I had watched 6 episodes.

Again, you use the past tense because this information is no longer current.

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  • General speaking, "had watched" means it's not the case right now while "watched" without have states only the action was done in the past? – CYC Feb 23 '17 at 19:49
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    Not always. As Davo's Fear Factor example shows, it's more a change in status. Technically, that person has still watched six episodes but because they made the decision to change (stop watching any more), you use had. If someone asked the person how many episodes they've watched they would still say "I have watched six episodes" regardless of the fact they opted to stop watching any further episodes. – Catija Feb 23 '17 at 19:52
  • Watched without have doesn't have the continuing status... if you say "I watched six episodes", that doesn't necessarily mean that it's all you've ever watched. It can, but it is ambiguous. You could just as easily say "I watched six episodes on Friday and three on Saturday". In all you "Have watched nine episodes". Does that help? – Catija Feb 23 '17 at 19:54
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If you only want to say that you watched them, then use: "have watched".

I have watched 6 episodes of Kuzu no Honkai.

But if you want to talk about something that happened after you watched them, then use "had watched" when talking about the episodes.

When the doorbell rang, I had watched 6 episodes of Kuzu no Honkai.

Usage Rule: "Had watched" means it happened before a certain point in time (which is either mentioned outright or is implied). "Have watched" means it happened before now.

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You will use "have" unless at some specific point this situation ended.

I have watched six episodes of Dirty Jobs.

or

I had watched six episodes of Fear Factor before I decided the bug challenges were too much for me.

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