Father and Peter had <had> an argument and they haven't spoken since

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Sample sentence:

You: "Why did Peter not invite your father to his wedding?"
Me: "Father and Peter had <had> an argument and they haven't spoken since."

Question:

In this thread, I've come across the above dialog. There are two different opinions there regarding whether the bolded "had" should be included in the sentence. I'm a little bit confused. Is the sentence correct both with and without the "had"?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
Last edited:
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both are correct, but…

    Father and Peter had had an argument and they haven't spoken since.
    — this explicitly states that the argument preceded their not speaking, but the word since explains that anyway so the use of the past perfect is redundant

    Father and Peter had an argument and they haven't spoken since.
    — this implies “What happened was…” and sounds much more natural
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    If the wedding was ten years ago, you'd use the past perfect. If it was this afternoon, only the past simple is possible. More context would determine which tense to use.
     
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