Ask Giff: He had or He’d had?

#amwriting #grammar

Question: I was wondering about one thing. In my sentence, would it be “he’d had enough” or “he had enough”?

He’d had enough. He could handle his sister’s complaining, but…

Answer: He’d had enough” will work better for you.

“He had enough” is usually quantifiable, eg: “He had enough breakfast cereal to last for a year”, means he’s got enough cereal stocked up in the pantry to last that long.

Whereas “He’d had enough breakfast cereal to last for a year” means he’s so sick of breakfast cereal he doesn’t want to have any more for a year.

So in this case, by using “He’d had enough”, you’re saying he’s sick of his sister’s complaining, and inferring that he doesn’t want to hear it any more.

Thanks for your question. Slainte!

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