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I have had two kids since 2005.

I am confused with this sentence. How can "have" & "had" be used together?

  • What should be the meaning of this question? – I don't know who I am. Jun 21 '15 at 7:07
  • My bad, pazzo is right. It is a present perfect with have as auxiliary and had your main verb. – Sander Jun 21 '15 at 9:00
  • You should get information about how verbs are conjugated. The perfect tenses use the forms of to have + the third base form, so you get : I have seen, had seen, will have seen, would have seen - or I have had, had had, will have had, would have had. After will/would you have the infinitive, either present or perfect infinitive. – rogermue Jun 23 '15 at 10:25
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I have had two kids since 2005.

The sentence, as commented by Sander, is the present perfect. You have used the present perfect with since to talk about something continuing up to the present. Had is the past participle of "have", which is a stative verb.

You can say "I have two kids", but you cannot say "I have two kids since 2005". Your sentence must be in the present perfect. See a few more examples as follows:

I have known him for two years/since 2013.

I have had this house since 2010.

  • I have two kids, is it not present perfect? – I don't know who I am. Jun 21 '15 at 7:54
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    No, it's not. The structure of the present perfect is "has/+ave + third form of a verb" such I have finished, he has done, we have eaten, etc. – Khan Jun 21 '15 at 8:40
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    I have two kids is simple present. I have had two kids since 2005 (present perfect). Now I have four kids (simple present). – CJ Dennis Jun 21 '15 at 11:16
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That's two different problems for you, I guess.

First is the "strange" double word have had. Here you simply have the same pattern as I have eaten, I have seen, I have done. The first, have is still the auxiliary verb you always use in the perfect tense, the second, had is the appropriate form of to have. I have + eaten is completely analogous to I have + had, it's the same pattern, you just happen to use the verb to have instead of to eat.

Second, the fact that whenever you use since in a sentence like this, English simply forces you to use the perfect tense instead of the simple one.

Yes, the sentence I have two kids, as you ask, is a perfectly correct one, no problem about it. It just has a different meaning: I have two kids simply means that you have two kids. I have had two kids since 2005 has a different meaning. With this sentence, you can have more than two children. In the time period since 2005, the number of your children had increased by two (eg. two were born before 2005, two after 2005, now you have four children).

  • Impressive narration. – I don't know who I am. Jun 21 '15 at 13:56
  • A note on "whenever you use since in a sentence like this, English simply forces you to use the perfect tense instead of the simple one": though it's good advice in general, it's not entirely correct. For example, Macmillan Dictionary has this: "Sometimes the present simple or past simple is used in the main clause: ♦ It’s over twenty years since we last met." Having said that, I agree that it's a good idea for learners to stick with using the perfect tense when using since. – Damkerng T. Jun 23 '15 at 10:49

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