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Situation: Warren Xxx is storytelling his college life to business students. The topic is the subject's collage.

Warren Xxx: There was this collage, it had its name of teachers who were teaching it, and I was amazed at what I saw because some of the teachers were the authors of the books I had had read before I met them in person.

Or

Warren Xxx: There was this collage, it had its name of teachers who were teaching it, and I was amazed at what I saw because some of the teachers were the authors of the books I had read before I met them in person

What I wanted to clarify is Warren Xxx had read some books first, before he saw the collage. Moreover, is it had had read or just had read?

(With all respect, please focus on the bold letters, this is a grammar/tenses question) I maybe wrong with the grammar, that is why I'm asking it and not to damage someone else's reputation.

  • "Had had read before" seems ungrammatical, so it's better to use "Had read before". You can only use a single had before a verb. You can say had had if the second had is not a "helping verb", and that would exclude the addition of read. – CowperKettle May 3 '18 at 18:34
  • Collage or college? These are different things. – Andrew May 3 '18 at 18:42
  • It's either a typo or a misstatement. "Had had read" is not common grammar, and doesn't fit this context. – Andrew May 3 '18 at 18:44
  • This is a transcription issue, probably. Someone put it through some kind of automatic software, and guess what? It's full of errors. Is this a collage with teachers' names and courses taught? – Lambie May 3 '18 at 19:46
  • @Lambie, yes it is, its collage with teachers' names and courses. On the flip side, this topic is from his documentary film but the sentence construction is from mine(excerpt but my rephrased sentences just to test my past tenses usage accuracy) – John Arvin May 3 '18 at 20:15
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I am wondering if this is taken from a transcript. If so, it may be that Mr. Buffett stuttered or hesitated, repeating the word had, which is a mistake.

  • It's not taken from an official transcipt. My bad, kindly see my other answer in the comment section above. – John Arvin May 3 '18 at 20:17

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