Author Topic: how many 'had's should be used?  (Read 2011 times)

Offline commatose

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how many 'had's should be used?
« on: April 09, 2006, 03:25:29 AM »
how would you 'had' the following?
===========================
† † †Iíd slept forty-nine days. Given Dínarís expertise, I assumed everything had went according to
schedule on the way to Earth, and we had made twenty-nine subspace jumps as he seeded twenty-five sterile planets of the proper classification for future colonization.
===========================
thanks
steve
steve
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Offline Symphony

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Re: how many 'had's should be used?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2006, 03:30:48 AM »
Just one question - do you have to use 'had' at all? 'Had' automatically weakens all the verbs and, subsequently, the entire paragraph. If it's a crucial paragraph (as, in fact, they all should be), then perhaps you could get around this. Otherwise ...

Quote
Iíd slept forty-nine days. Given Dínarís expertise, I assumed everything had went according to
schedule on the way to Earth, and we had made twenty-nine subspace jumps as he seeded twenty-five sterile planets of the proper classification for future colonization.


I'd slept forty-nine days. Given Dnar's expertise, I assumed everything had GONE according to schedule on the way to Earth and we'd made twenty-nine subspace jumps ...



Offline commatose

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Re: how many 'had's should be used?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2006, 11:25:30 AM »
 hi Symphony,
it's because i don't understand tenses any more than i understand commas. ???
i think i wrote the story first person/past tense, but i don't know that for sure. if so, reflecting on a past happening seems it would require a 'had'. the past in the past?
i'd prefer very few 'had's and will go that way as i now suspect i'm wrong in using them.
if used, i think just one per sentence, only several per long paragraph, should be ok- hense:

Iíd slept forty-nine days. Given Dínarís expertise, I assumed everything had gone according to
schedule on the way to Earth, and we made twenty-nine subspace jumps as he seeded twenty-five sterile planets of the proper classification for future colonization.

please correct me if i'm wrong.
i used 'gone' as you suggested- or as you have suggested- or as you had suggested. ??? ::) :D

thanks,
steve :)

steve
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Niagara Falls- NIAGARA FALLS!.... Slowly i turned, step by step...inch by inch...I took my revenge. -vaudeville bit

Telcontar

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Re: how many 'had's should be used?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2006, 12:11:51 PM »
Hi Steve,

Iíll have a go at explaining this for you. ĎPast tenseí refers to something which has happened in the past; in the case of your story, you are refering to a previous journey, this is how I might have written it (to remove the Ďhadís):


   Iíd slept for forty-nine days. Given Dínarís expertise, I assumed everything had gone according to schedule on the way to Earth, and we made twenty-nine subspace jumps as he seeded twenty-five sterile planets of the proper classification for future colonization.

If you were writing in Ďpresent tenseí, you would be talking about a journey yop are currently engaged in, the present journey, one which is happening now. This would include things which have happened in the immediate past, but still on this journey. My version might be:

Iíve slept for forty-nine days. Knowing Dínarís expertise, I assume everything is going according to schedule on our way to the Earth, as I see we have made twenty-nine subspace jumps as he seeded twenty-five terile planetsÖ

That is how I might have written the two alternatives, though I may well be corrected by others!

Hope it helps.

Dave.




Offline Symphony

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Re: how many 'had's should be used?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2006, 12:27:55 PM »

i used 'gone' as you suggested- or as you have suggested- or as you had suggested. ??? ::) :D


Offline commatose

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Re: how many 'had's should be used?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2006, 02:02:16 PM »
thanks kids,
dave, i'll be pondering this thread good!

i just dropped sixty or so 'have's and 'had's from the story. things like-

it's much more cost effective to not have to start over here.
We have lost the sub folder containing the data of that mission
† † †Iíd slept forty-nine days. Given Dínarís expertise, I assumed

everything went according to schedule on the way to Earth, and we had

made twenty-nine subspace jumps as he botanically seeded twenty-five

sterile planets of the proper classification for future colonization.


everyday i get closer to being an writer! ;D

steve :)

edited to add: i'm ok with knowing present tense from past- my problem is with past tense and referring to the past while writing in past tense.

i went to the store.
i had went to the store.

edited again to add: i'm slow, but i think i'm getting it. it came to me (from info in dave's post) that 'i decided to swim.' isn't past tense writing, but present tense. i thought 'decide' would be present- 'decided' would be past, and 'had decided' would be speaking of the past while writing in past tense.

so if 'decided' (recently) is present tense, then 'had decided' is past tense.
it's coming together in my mind i do believe.

so do i graduate to the sixth grade or what? ::)
heysoos mirimba! visual arts are easier.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 12:15:03 AM by commatose »
steve
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Niagara Falls- NIAGARA FALLS!.... Slowly i turned, step by step...inch by inch...I took my revenge. -vaudeville bit