1

I'd like to describe a situation in the past. Not sure which one below makes more sense.

  1. Everything looks okay to me. I don't think we had this issue in the past.

  2. Everything looks okay to me. I don't think we've had this issue in the past.

1

Have had is the past perfect form of had.

The English past perfect tense is complicated to explain, but a simple heuristic that applies here can be used.

If you are going to say We've X Y, where Y is one of these words/phrases or something similar:

before, previously, recently, "that I can remember", "since X", "until X"

you use past perfect. You would also use past perfect if one of those words could fit but isn't actually expressed. By not expressing it you are leaving open that one of the above could apply.

Everything looks okay to me. I don't think we've had this issue in the past [that I can remember].

0

The first sentence with "had" is in the past tense. You use past tense for something that occurred in a known time in the past, which is not the case here.

The second one, with "have had," which is correct, is in the present perfect tense, which describes an event that has occurred in an undefined time in the past and is still relevant now.

-1

To describe a situation in the past use the past simple, so I'd say use the first one.

  • Again I'd like to ask the person who downvoted my answer, please explain why. Downvoting without any further explanation is of no use. – anouk Jul 6 at 17:38
  • Both the sentences describe a past event. Elaborate more on why past simple should be used. – LawrenceC Nov 6 at 17:53
  • It says "I'd like to describe a situation in the past". That is why I'd use past simple. You are talking about the present: It looks okay (present tense) we have had is present perfect describing a past action that affects the present. – anouk Nov 7 at 18:26

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.