What is the difference between the sentences

  1. He had a gun.


  1. He has had a gun.

I think when you are saying about the past why don't you just say it as "He had a gun" instead of "He has had a gun"?, this goes same with these below sentences as well.

  1. He has killed.
  2. He has had killed.

  1. She had sex before she died.
  2. She had had sex before she died.

They are not the same and neither is incorrect, but they have different meanings. "Had" by itself is the past tense, while "Has had" is the present perfect, meaning it began in the past and continues in the present.

He had a gun.

This means he had a gun in the past but the speaker does not know for certain that he still has it.

The present perfect means he still has a gun. It doesn't really make sense without specifying a time period.

He has had a gun for six months.

In your second and third examples, the present perfect does not make any sense because there is no question about whether the speaker knows them to still be true. You would only ever use the first sentence from either of the examples you provided.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.