For example, if I had 3 girlfriends before, and now I have 4th one that I am dating and somebody would ask: How many girlfriends did you have / have you gotten?

Would it be correct to count in the actual one while I am still in relationsip? What I mean is it correct to count an event that has not yet been finished?

So would you say: I have had 4 girlfriends or 3 ? Like would you count in the 4th the current one which is still the girlfriend (so she does not belong to past events).

Does somebody understand what I am trying to ask? Thanks for help!

  • Do you understand past perfect vs. present perfect? Basically past perfect doesn't include the current one, while present perfect does. But we have no way of knowing how many you "have had", which has another meaning so be careful.
    – user3169
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 20:24
  • 2
    To make yourself clear you might say that you have had three girlfriends before your present girlfriend - or my current girlfriend is my fourth. Grammatical rules do not necessarily equate with speaking clearly or making yourself understood. Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 23:36

2 Answers 2


Broadly did you have and have you gotten are wholly inappropriate; that question should be How many have you had…

Either way the answer would be (Watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for clarity) Three before… Including this one, four.


Plain and clear, if you are using the Present tense then you should include only the girl you are dating now, otherwise, in the Past tense, you should include all those you dated.

  • How many girlfriends did you have?
  • I had 3 girlfriends. (Now I am dating my fourth one.)

  • How many girlfriends do you have?
  • I have one girlfriend. (I dated 3 in the past.)
  • What if all the girls you have had by now, you now keep calling your girlfriends. You either date or go along with. "To have", speaking of a girl, is quite a different register, I think. Do you agree?
    – Victor B.
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 22:21
  • @Rompey In a certain way I do. Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 7:14

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