Can I Use “Had Born” in English sentence to express past perfect i.e. past of past?

1) He had born when I reached to the Hospital.

2) This is where I had born.

3) Your father came to hospital but before that you had born.

4) He had born in India.

Why Born is adjective and died is Verb? Also What verb for bron then?

  • 2
    Born in this sense is always used with BE, so the perfect will be HAVE been born: the present/past perfects are I have/had been born, he has/had been born, you/we/they have/had been born Jun 12, 2015 at 16:29
  • 1
    @Stoney is right, but, for two of these sentences, I think most native speakers would just use "was": This is where I was born. He was born in India.
    – J.R.
    Jun 12, 2015 at 18:15
  • Perhaps because dying is something you do, whereas being born is something that happens to the infant that is going to become you.
    – jamesqf
    Jun 18, 2015 at 0:00

4 Answers 4


You need to use the passive with born (to be born).

Your sentences would be correct like so:

1) He had already been born when I reached the Hospital.

2) This is where I was born.

3) Your father came to hospital but that was before you were born.

4) He was born in India.

The past participle born is one of the two different past participles from the word to bear (borne & born). However, when referring to birth, born is used and can only be used in the passive form. Therefore you can only find it in combination with the verb have as an auxiliary verb in perfect tenses:

  • He has been born.
  • He had been born.

You cannot omit the verb to be in your sentence, it is required to form the passive. Born cannot be used in and active phrase, not when you're talking about birth.

To form active sentences when talking about birth, you use borne. However, with that past participle, it is the subject who is performing the act of giving birth while the object is the one that starts his life.

She has borne two children.

This website contains some solid information on the difference between born and borne: Borne vs. born - Grammarist

  • 'borne' is a verb I hear often at all. From the verb to bear yes? From to carry. I never made to connection from born/bare/carry until now. Thank you. Jun 12, 2015 at 17:59
  • Yes, it's the past participle of to bear. And so is born, though each of them has a different meaning as I explained above.
    – Vlammuh
    Jun 12, 2015 at 18:07
  • Yes, the meanings are clear to me as I'm a native speaker, but even so, I'm still amazed at all the little dirty corners of the langauge I still run across. Good answer. Jun 12, 2015 at 18:10
  • Ahh, I thought you were asking me something, my bad :P And yes, I kmow what you mean, I've had similar experiences in my native language as well
    – Vlammuh
    Jun 12, 2015 at 18:13
  • 1
    Born is very unusual as a passive verb form. Usually, we can indicate the agent with a by-phrase in passive clauses, but that doesn't work with born.
    – user230
    Jul 30, 2015 at 18:53

Nos. 1 and 3 are interesting sentences, here is how I would say those:

When I reached the hospital, he had already been born.

Your father arrived at the hospital too late; you had already been born.

  • Funny how I would use 'already arrived' instead of 'been born' on your second example. Let's us get rid of that troublesome 'been' :) Jun 12, 2015 at 18:34
  • @MichaelDorgan - Hmmm... Your father arrived at the hospital too late; you had already arrived. That's an interesting twist on the two definitions of the word arrived. How about this one? Your father showed up at the hospital too late; you had already arrived.
    – J.R.
    Jun 12, 2015 at 19:41
  • arrived twice doesn't sound poetic enough. I'd leave came on the first, but arrived on the second :) Your second one is fun though! Jun 12, 2015 at 20:42
  • By the time your father bore your mother to the hospital, you had already been born. He could not bear the sight of you
    – Adam
    Jun 17, 2015 at 17:14
  • 1
    how very boring :) Jun 17, 2015 at 18:50

Any are valid if changed to

had been born.

As far as tense:

born:dead :: to bear:to die

Technically, born is a past participle, not an adjective.


Born is an adjective. So you must use a form of to be with it as you would any other adjective, if you are saying X is that quality/state described by the adjective.

To bear is a verb which means to give birth, and the past participle form of to bear is borne. However, the object of to bear will be whatever you are giving birth to.

She had borne a child.

If you want to identify your place of birth, say:

I was born in Memphis.

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