I was watching a movie where The main character said to his friend

"I am disturbed to find that I had more of a childhood than you did."

Why he said 'you did' after 'than' normally we use 'You had'? Is It an archaic form to use as the movie storyline was based on very old time?

2 Answers 2


I expect your confusion comes from the fact that you have not realised that have here is not an auxiliary. In this sentence had is the past form of the verb have. When using an ordinary verb, we make questions, negatives, restatement of the verb in comparatives, using an auxiliary. In your sentence had being in the past, we have to use the auxiliary did.

Your sentence follows the same construction as, for example, I ate more cakes than you did in which did restates ate.

If the sentence had been written in the present perfect your sentence would have been:

I've had more of a childhood than you have.
(have: auxiliary; had main verb).


He'll have more of a childhood than you will.
(will: auxiliary; have main verb).

In the same way you will find sentences such as:

What time do you have breakfast?

I don't have a pet.


It's quite idiomatic.

"I had" is basically the same as saying "I did have".

"I had one, and so did you".

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