Help me with using have,has,had!!I want to use those three words in a essay, but I always get confused. Which one i should use? Example: If i want to use it in past tense:: - Those who...

Help me with using have,has,had!!

I want to use those three words in a essay, but I always get confused. Which one i should use?


If i want to use it in past tense::

- Those who [had,has,have] finish their homework.

[which i should use?]


Asked on by prettisnow

3 Answers

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Try it this way also:

"I have finished" is current. I have currently finished and I can go to supper.

"I had finished" is yesterday or last month or when you were ten. Once upon a time you did something and had finished it and then you went to supper.

"Those who have finished" is current. The instructor says to the class, "Those who have finished may stand up and go to supper."

"Those who had finished" is ten days ago or last month or when they were seven. Once upon a time those who had finished whatever they were doing got up, dusted themselves off and went to supper.

It's all about setting up the time frame of when whatever it was that was finished or eaten or purchased or sung or made actually happened: in the very near past (like 2 seconds or an hour ago) or the more removed past (like a week ago). It's all about time.

eNotes doesn't have Study Guides for grammar yet but is a good and reliable source for more information.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It depends on what you are trying to say.  In a sentence like they one you have given

You can't use "has" unless the subject of your sentence is singular and in the third person (or if you are using their name).  So you can say "if she has finished her homework."  Or you can say "since David has finished his homework."

You may use "have" if the subject is A) first person, either plural or singular (I have finished, we have finished); B) second person (you have finished) or C) third person plural (they have finished, those who have finished).

You may only use "had" for what's called past perfect -- where something happened in the past BEFORE something else IN THE PAST.  Example -- I had finished my homework but the dog ate it.

I hope that helps...

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I could see your confusion. Here is the general rule of thumb:

1. Those who have finished their homework - This is the perfect tense.

2. Those who had finished their homework - This is actually pluperfect - "paster than past." It is rarely used.

3. Those who finished their homework - Simple past tense. This is the most common.

4. Those who has finished their homework - this is grammatically incorrect.

5. he who has finished his homework - this is the singular version of #4.

Good luck. Keep posting if you have any questions.