I want to say. Couple did marriage on 1 April and after 5 years they taken divorce. How should is say?

A) They were married on 1 April 2014 and taken divorce after 5 years.

B) They had married on 1 April 2014 and taken divorce after 5 years.

C) or any other way to say?

Two questions:

Q1) Are the above sentence constructions correct? If so, What do they mean?

Q2) Is the word Married a verb or an adjective?


7 Answers 7


No, neither A) nor B) is correct. For one thing, "taken divorce" is an improperly formed past perfect. For another, one does not say "take" divorce (in AmE — I don't know whether they say that in BrE). Lastly,it is customary to spell out numerals up through nine (and in Chicago style, up through ninety-nine).

Example A) would be better if you change "taken divorce" to "got divorced" and spell out "five":

  • They {got/were} married on 1 April 2006 and got divorced five years later.

This could be shortened to:

  • They married on 1 April 2006 and divorced five years later.

Example B would only make sense if the frame of reference is in the past, and both the marriage and the divorce were farther in the past. For instance,

  • I met them in 2014. They had married in 2006, and had gotten divorced five years later.
  • 1
    You don't "take divorce" in British English either. Some other points. 1. Spelling out small numbers is style advice; saying "Example A) would be correct if you .... spell out 'five'" suggests that it is a requirement. 2. "Had gotten divorced" is very clunky -- you don't need that train of auxiliaries. "They had married in 2006 and divorced five years later" is fine. 3. Rewriting dates month-first and using "gotten" moves your answer squarely into American English, whereas the question has dates day-first, suggesting that British English is preferred. Mar 16, 2015 at 8:56
  • Sorry, I don't speak British. It doesn't look as though the OP does either. As for "gotten", I was only trying to show how it might look in past perfect. Indeed it would be shorter as you suggested. But "clunky"? I think you meant "American". Anyway, I'll put the dates back into the format supplied by OP. Mar 16, 2015 at 10:39
  • No, I mean clunky. :-) "Clunky" is not implied by "American". Mar 16, 2015 at 10:52
  • @David: As a Briton, I suspect that, in this case, "Clunky to a Briton" is the same as "Normal to an American" and different from "Clunky to an American" - maybe that's the conceptual handbag you two are dancing around? ;-) Mar 16, 2015 at 14:47
  • 1
    RE: For one thing, it hasn't been five years yet since 1 April 2014. Maybe not, but someone could be reading this answer five years from now, and that point would be moot. (I think you've made some good suggestions grammatically, but I don't think the date issue belongs in a grammatical discussion.)
    – J.R.
    Mar 16, 2015 at 16:33

(Answers are for Standard American English, as used & understood by me.)

Q2 - the easy one. As Maulik V said, "married" is used as both a verb and an adjective:

"They got married. Now they are a married couple."

Q1 - not quite so easy. The first clause of both sentences is correct and commonly used. However -

"Were" tends to imply something that happened in the past and is still in effect:

"They were married on April 1, 2014, and have been happily together ever since."

"Had" tends to imply something that happened in the past and is over and done with:

"They had married on April 1, 2014, but they got an annulment later that same day."

However, there is plenty of ambiguity either way.

Whether a couple stays together or not, the fact that they were married at one time will always be in effect:

"They were married on April 1, 2014, and were divorced after five years. They have been happily apart from each other ever since."

*(I assume the OP is writing science fiction or making a prediction. Or maybe eleven-and-a-half months just seemed like five years to the unhappily married couple.)*

But getting married is a single distinct act that is undertaken and then is finished (unlike, for example, liking chocolate ice cream), and then will always be in the past:

"They had married on April 1, 2014, on a day when cherry blossoms fell mixed with rain, and have lovingly called each other "April Fools" ever since."

Q1, part 2 - Most people say a couple "were divorced" or "got divorced."

"They were married, then they were divorced. Because they got divorced, they are no longer a married couple."

Hope this helps.


You can “get married” and you can “get divorced” (or “get a divorce”), but you can't take either marriage or divorce. You can also “marry someone“ and “divorce someone“ without using "get".

You can, however, if you want to be formal or florid, “take a person“ or “take their hand” in marriage. This isn't the same as taking the marriage itself. For example,

I, Ross. Take thee Rachel

Since divorce is a time-consuming process, people seek divorce and are granted it by a court some time later.

"Married" is a verb in the passive form. If I marry someone, I'm the subject of the verb. If I am married, I'm the object, and the subject is either the officiant or just missing from the sentence entirely.


To me, "They were/had married..." construction is better if we are not defining what happened later especially in terms of some period (as in your example)! In fact, I have seen this commonly used when we talk about the tenure they were married for. Say..

There were married for five years
The woman maintained that they had married in Damascus, a fact denied by the man

As you ask that how should you say, I think in this way (for this context), it's clearer...

They got married on [whatever dd/mm/yyyy], and got divorced after five years.

And yes, married is both a verb and an adjective. Depends how you use it.

A married man (adjective use)
He married a German .... (verbal use).


If you are discussing whether a person is a bigamist or not, "were married" could refer to a single point in time. For example "John married Susan and they later divorced. But on April 1st 2014, when he married Jane, John and Susan were still married which makes him a bigamist".

You can also use a sentence like "John and Susan were married by their bishop" meaning that the bishop performed the ceremony. Like "John and Susan married in their local church" this refers only to the point in time when the wedding happened, not to the years they stayed married.


This is correct:

They were married on the first of April 2014, and divorced five years later.

The difference between had married and were married, is that with "were", we are saying they became married — that is, the acquired the adjective of "married" — they went from being not married, to being married.

However, the construction "they had X" implies that X is a verb, which needs an object. So, you could say "They had married their partner" or "they had gotten married" (in which case "gotten" is the verb, and "married" is the object). But "they had married" is not a complete sentence.... Usually.

Brian Hitchcock explains in another answer what else is wrong with the sentence, and makes the point that "they had married" can be correct, depending on context — firstly, in that the object can be implied rather than stated, in which case you are saying "they had married [each other] in 2006".

Secondly, you can parse the sentence differently. I've been thinking of it as being in the past progressive tense, but you can also read the sentence in the past perfect tense, in which case "married" changes from being something they did, to something they have done. In that case, had married would be entirely correct. This is a less common usage though as, colloquially, marriage is usually spoken of in the past progressive — at least it is in my experience, as an English speaker living in England.


Q1) Both of them are correct, depending on context. However, A sounds much more natural to a native speaker.

Q2) Both, again depending on context. Usually it's a verb, sometimes it's an adjective, very rarely it can be an adverb. Treat it as a verb, unless you're sure it's not.

  • 2
    "Q1) Both of them are correct, depending on context." Actually neither is correct because you don't "take divorce". Mar 16, 2015 at 8:58
  • @DavidRicherby I'm assuming that the question is strictly about the difference between "had" and "were", based on the question title.
    – Benubird
    Mar 16, 2015 at 11:39

They married is correct and it is simple to use.

  • 1
    Welcome to English Language Learners! Please explain why your answer is correct; answers without explanation don't teach the patterns of English well and may be deleted.
    – Glorfindel
    Sep 26, 2020 at 12:22

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