I want to know the difference between "have done" and "had done". When and where it should be used?

4 Answers 4


Have done --- Have done is a present perfect tense, generally it is used when the action is completed recently/just now.

Had done-- Had done is a past perfect tense, generally refers to something which happened earlier in the past, before another action also occured in the past.

For Example:

We have done the work -- Here the action completed recently/just now.

My friend offered me an apple in classroom yesterday, but I wasn't hungry because I had just eaten lunch -- Here the action happened earlier("yesterday"), and another action ("I had just eaten lunch") also occured in the past.


"Have (or has) done" can be used as a standalone declarative phrase. ("I have done my homework."), although other phrases can be added ("I have done my homework, so I'm going to visit a friend.")

"Had done" is always used in a multi-phrase construction ("I had done my homework, so I went to visit a friend." or "If he had done his homework, he could have gone to the party.")


Here is the answer I found on one of English forums:

We have done our homework. present perfect tense. Completed in the very recent past.

We had done our homework, so we were allowed to go to the movies. past perfect tense. Completed in the past, prior to the simple past "act" of being allowed.

Note that the simple present of "to have," third person singular, is "has." He has done his homework. The "done" remains in the base form, and does not change. "Had" is simple past, and does not change for person or number: He had done his homework, so he was allowed to go to the movies.

Source: https://www.englishforums.com/English/HadDoneVsHaveDone/xjczc/post.htm


I "have done" is present perfect while I "had done" is past perfect. What these tell us is when the action was completed (made perfect/perfected).

So, "I have done the thing" tells us, at this present time, that "the thing" is completely done. At this present time the action is complete or perfect. Present Perfect.

On the other hand, "I had done the thing" tells us, that at some time in the past, "the thing" was already completely done. At some past time the action was complete/perfect. Past Perfect.

You can use them like this

Present Perfect: Something you have recently completed or something you did a long time ago or something you used to do, but you don't do any longer.

I have ridden horses in the past. (but I no longer do) I have baked that cake. (just recently)

Past Perfect Is used when you want to talk about what happened in the past AFTER the event in question.

I had ridden horses, but I was still afraid of them. I had baked a cake, and it was delicious.

I suppose another way to envisage them is like this.

Historic Past, Past, Present, Future.

I have baked a cake (Past) and it is tasty (Present). Soon it will all be gone. (Future)

I had baked a cake (Historic Past) and it was tasty (Past). But now it's all gone (Present).

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