What's the difference between :

I have not sent this email.
I had not sent this email.

I usually get confused in had/have. And I might have used them incorrectly many times. Can someone explain what to use when with some examples?

  • 4
    Hi, lea - have you read about the difference between present perfect and the past perfect?
    – stangdon
    Sep 14, 2018 at 21:31
  • I do know the difference but when it comes to implementing these rules I get confused and sometimes use the wrong tense in the flow. But thanks for the link I will again look at the rules.
    – lea
    Sep 15, 2018 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


I have not sent the email

means that, as of right now, the email is not sent. If someone asks you the question: "Have you sent the email?", this is your response.

I had not sent the email

means that, at some point in the past, based on the context of the conversation, the email was not sent. If someone asked you: "did you send the email before the deadline yesterday?", this would be your response.

  • thanks a lot for the clarification. This helped me understand the concept. Can you please give an example of this response - I sent the email.
    – lea
    Sep 15, 2018 at 15:21

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