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As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink they wanted music and dancing, which are the crowning embellishments of a banquet, so a servant brought a lyre to Phemius, whom they compelled perforce to sing to them.(Odyssey)

I know that "I have enough to eat." means that "I have lots of food."

In the example above, it means "I had lots of food and drink." So in a sense,it is a done act. Is it possible to say so?

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  • Do you mean to ask "It is possible to say it is a done act"? You ask about to do but it isn't in the quoted text. This question is very confusing.
    – jimsug
    Jul 9, 2014 at 0:40

3 Answers 3

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I have had enough to eat.

This means that I have eaten enough and I am no longer hungry.

Did you have enough to eat for lunch?

Yes, I had enough to eat.

That means that at lunchtime, I ate enough that I was no longer hungry.

I understand your confusion. To have can mean to eat. It is kind of strange, I suppose, but it's an old part of the language, and we are used to it. We don't think it is strange at all.

I had a sandwich for lunch.

That means I ate a sandwich for lunch.

I'm having chicken for dinner.

That means I will be eating chicken for dinner.

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I know that "I have enough to eat." means that "I have lots of food."

Not quite. It's closer to "I have a sufficient amount of food" or "I won't be hungry after I eat all the food I have". So, in context, "as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink" means "as soon as they were no longer hungry or thirsty"; that is, they ate and drank until they were full and then decided they wanted to dance.

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People sometimes sit around the table a while before they agree they've had enough. The phrase just means they ate and then went dancing.

It's common to say to your dinner companions, "when we've all had enough to eat and drink, let's go [dancing]. That way you're not asking anybody to leave in a hurry.


[Edit: now that I think I see the mistake you seem to have made:]

As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink

Notice the two **had**s?

That means they'd eaten and drunk sufficiently. To "have had enough to eat" means you've eaten enough. A hostess might ask all her guests,

"Has everybody had enough to eat? There's still some cheese if you'd like.

~on the other hand~

To "have enough to eat" can simply mean the food is in the house; you have it and can eat anytime.

A hostess, before eating, could say to a guest,

"Do you have enough to eat?"

The guest, looking down at his plateful of food, might look up and say,

"Yes, plenty, thanks!"

I think maybe you didn't notice the second, "had" so you thought it read,

"As soon as they had enough to eat and drink they wanted music and dancing.."

Which makes me picture the hilarious situation you probably imagined: The hostess serves everybody a lovely meal. But instead of eating it, they instead suddenly want music and dancing!

ROTFL

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