Ask Language Log: "will have had gone"?

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Lori Levin writes:

What is going on with "will have had gone"?   It gets 122,000,000 hits in Google.   I thought there could only be one auxiliary "have" per clause.    Did the English auxiliary verb system change while I wasn't looking?

Some of my students say "will have had gone" sounds completely normal to them, and some won't accept it at all.

Some of the examples on the web:

I'm hoping someone will have had gone through a similar situation and will have some good words of advice for you.

A very large percentage of my viewers reading this will have had gone through an experience where they had to go through sending in mail in rebates to get a substantial discount.

If not for your witty remarks i will have had gone insane

These wealthy men will have had gone to school and have a steady job.

Here's one with a bit more of the context. This is an answer to the question "Can I get my tongue pierced while pregnant?":

I would definately wait untill afterwards. The only reason is that if you were to have an C-section either emergency or non; they will make you take out any peircings. You will have had gone through the swelling period again for nothing. Trust me, btdt and was a little mad. Got my tongue peirced at 7 months and had to take it out after I could start eating normally again. Sigh…it was fun while it lasted LOL

If not for the large number of hits [note: not really], and our previous discussions of similar things,  I might have had thought that these were mistakes. Thus "Wouldn't of have", 2/21/2009; "Couldan't, shouldan't, wouldan't", 7/31/2004. In the 2004 post, Eric Bakovic suggested a number of hypotheses, including (crucially) this one:

Some speakers have reanalyzed modal + reduced HAVE as a single finite auxiliary/modal.

I suspect that people who are happy with "will have had gone" have the reduced form of have (often written "of") in that construction. But there are several obvious questions about the grammar of the rest of the string, which I leave open for discussion in the comments.

For example: if will_of, would_of etc. are finite forms, how come they're followed by had? This might be like "might could", but examples like this are rare:

Everybody is saying now what they would have could done to help her.

Update — Helen DeWitt quotes the relevant passage from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.


  1. NW said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    Well for a start, 'have had gone' appears in all sorts of positions. As containing the main verb:

    In that amount of time, I have had gone through 4 different phones
    And if all flesh ended, the Deluge have had gone to every place there was people
    We have had gone to CCC for over 15 years

    Catenative complement of modal (first few examples in conditionals FWIW):

    If we hadn't made it back together, I couldn't have had gone on living.
    if winter war would had been dragged longer, France and England would have had gone with their plan
    If public transportation would have allowed I would have had gone to Blaenau Ffestiniog

    Head of infinitival:

    He stopped responding to noise, and was thought to have had gone deaf.
    I think it's great for Gilbert to have had gone through what she went through in the beginning

  2. EasyArray said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Here's one theory, take it or leave it. Consider the following (present perfect) sentence, which means that the pea-eating is over:

    (1) I have eaten my peas.

    Next, if we are discussing a past time, and want to indicate that the pea-eating finished at an even earlier time, we use the pluperfect:

    (2) It was 10pm. I had eaten my peas several hours earlier.

    Now, if we want to say the pea-eating is over at some future time, we use (3), analogous to (1):

    (3) At/by 10pm tomorrow, I will have eaten my peas

    What, however, if we are already discussing 10pm tomorrow night, and we want to indicate that the pea-eating will finish at around 5pm tomorrow? We might be tempted to use (4), on analogy to (2):

    (4) *At 10pm tomorrow, I will had eaten my peas several hours earlier.

    However, for some reason, this sounds terrible. Instead, people seem to use:

    (5) At 10pm tomorrow, I will have had eaten my peas several hours earlier.

  3. Andrew Carnie said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    Dan Siddiqi, Maria Biezma and I have been working on the non-standard had+have construction recently. Dan and I are both native speakers of dialects with this construction. Dan and I have a paper appearing in the next issue of Snippets. We argue there that the syntax and morphology of the first "have" shows that it behaves entirely like a modal. Our work with Maria is currently on going so I don't want to give away the punch line, but we're investigating the semantics of this construction and how it differs from other counterfactuals, in particular about the semantic contributions of the second "have" which seem to go above and beyond those of mere aspect. In particular, there are some very strange but surprisingly consistent, ways in which this construction behaves with respect to presuppositional cancellation. But I'm not giving away the ending! So you all will have to wait until we get a draft ready!

    [(myl) With a bit of time to reflect, I realize that had+have (= "had of") is different from "will have had V+en". I'm a speaker of the "had of" dialect myself — things like "If I had of thought about it, …" were commonplace in the informal speech of my childhood. But "will have had gone" isn't part of the package, at least for me.]

  4. Pflaumbaum said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    @EasyArray –

    So you're saying that there's a felt lack of a kind of 'future pluperfect' construction, and this is filling the gap? Ingenious. Perhaps not all the above examples fit the bill, but the first and fourth seem to. (Although in the first one I don't think will is marking futurity.)

    There's also of course the so-called 'double perfect', as in If I hadn't have come on Language Log, I wouldn't be so confused. So both [had + have] and [have + had + past participle] seem to be possible for many speakers. I wonder if they can be combined, as in If I hadn't have had come on LL…? Only a couple of google hits, so maybe not.

  5. David L said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    @EasyA: I think you're on to something. To me it sounds natural to say:

    By 10 pm tomorrow, I will have eaten my peas

    but not:

    By 10 pm tomorrow, I will have eaten my peas several hours earlier.

    Instead, I would say:

    By 10 pm tomorrow, it will have been several hours since I ate my peas.

    But I can see that that "will have had" construction, which seems altogether unnatural to my ear, also fills that odd little gap.

  6. Terry Collmann said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    Speaking from a UKian perspective, "will have had gone" definitely sounds wrong, the "had", to me, being superfluous. The "double perfect" of "If I hadn't have come on Language Log" sounds less wrong, but I'm finding that construction hard to parse as significantly different in meaning from the simpler "If I hadn't come on Language Log".

  7. Mr Fnortner said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    Doesn't this accomplish the purpose more traditionally, for (5): At 10pm tomorrow, I would have eaten my peas several hours earlier?

  8. dw said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    Reminds me of "the thing is is".

  9. John Lawler said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    I think this is an AuxP'-level version of Zwicky's Law.

  10. Todd said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    @EasyA, I can see where you're coming from, but am not quite sure on the step from (3) to (5).

    When I think about the situation of wanting to describe having finished eating my peas at 5pm within a frame of discussion of 10pm, I can happily use (3) to describe this 'future pluperfect' as well. And if I really want to stress that it was over long before 10pm, I'd add "always" to stress the distance between the completion of pea-eating and the time being discussed, as below:

    (3b) At/by 10pm tomorrow, I will have already eaten my peas [long before].

    But apparently @Andrew Carnie has the answer and is going to keep us all in suspense.

  11. grackle said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    I guess I'm just surprised that there seems to be a large dialect cohort where this is natural. I don't recall ever having heard it. My thought (without the dialect evidence mentioned above) is that it is a close relative to the oft-discussed over negation. I'm not convinced that it is otherwise.

  12. D Sky Onosson said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    @ Mr Fnortner

    For me, the use of "would" in your sentence strongly implies that you think it is unlikely to come to pass. "Will", for me, would imply the converse, that it is probable to occur, or at least assumed to occur in the future.

  13. Adrian said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    You really do need to do a "sticky" blogpost about Google hits and what they mean. I defy anyone to find more than 30 examples of "will have had gone" on the internet.

    [(myl) That's a good point — Google's usual merely egregious over-estimation really goes bananas in this case. Bing actually claims just 24 results. Google claims "about 249,000,000 results", but will only show us 69 of them; and at least 32 of those are quotes or re-publications of this Language Log post, leaving only 69-32 = 37 possible hits. And some of those are clearly typographical errors and the like.

    So I think we might get higher than 30 real examples — but the validated total is going to be closer to 30 than to 249 million…

    Still, it seems that some people's internalized norms allow it. We'll learn more when Andrew Carnie's papers are available, at least if they cover "will have had V+en" as well as "had have".]

  14. Mark said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

    This gets discussed on here all the time but I wanted to note that when I read the examples to myself they sounded horrible and wrong. But when I was going back through the post after reading the comments to talk about it with a co-worker I discovered that when I unselfconsciously read them to others I'm a native speaker! ;-)

  15. Brad said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    "will have had" in "I will have had gone" sounds incorrect to me, as some sort of hybridization of "I will have gone" and "I had gone" somehow inspired by "I will have had ".

    I do not yet speak that dialect of English, if that is an emerging grammatical dialect.

  16. Frank Caruso said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    It seems as if people are using "had" after "have" in an attempt to clarify or intensify–but I think this attempt fails and results in only confusion. It seems to me that they are using the word "had" instead of "already". In every instance of this construction given above, the word "had" after "have" is unnecessary but could be replaced with "already".

    EasyArray, (4) doesn't simply sound terrible; rather, it is an unacceptable conjugation of the verb. All you need is the future perfect as in (3) with the additional adverbial phrase appended in (5):

    At 10pm tomorrow, I will have eaten my peas several hours earlier.

    The above is just (5) with the word "had" removed; it's not necessary. If you feel the need to clarify or intensify, you could, as I suggested in my first paragraph, put "already" where "had" was:

    At 10pm tomorrow, I will have already eaten my peas several hours earlier.

    (could also say "…will already have…" instead of "…will have already…")

  17. Frank Caruso said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    OK, I should say that it's unacceptable in my dialect. And that I've never heard of this before and I'm surprised there are so many hits. This construction sounds "wrong" to me; we don't need a new tense, just (perhaps) an adverb.

  18. Scott said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    I agree with Adrian and Mark's observations and remain skeptical of the pervasiveness and/or acceptability of these data. For example, a quick search in the Corpus of Contemporary American English for the string "will have had [v*]" returns zero result. That is all 88 examples of the string "will have had" are main verb "had". For "would have had [v*]" there are a few apparent examples, but these appear to be quite rare too.

  19. Ellen K. said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    "Will have had gone" is fine to me.

    On the other hand, the other constructions that were talked about in previous posts — wouldn't of have, wouldan't — strike me as ungrammatical.

    It's interesting to note that "will have had gone" has two usages. One's a future time use where, if forced to substitute, I'd use "will have gone". The other an irrealis (if that's the right term) construction where if I had to substitute, I'd use "has gone".

  20. Ellen K. said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    P.S. I like EasyArray's explanation for the future time use.

  21. Yakusa Cobb said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    @Adrian is quite right. In fact, this very phrase shows just how crazily wrong it is to take ghits as having any basis whatsoever in reality.

    A search for "will have had gone" (the last time I checked) yielded 'about 247,000,000 results'. Clicking through to the last one (which didn't take long) revealed that there were in fact only 65(!).
    Not only that, but two-thirds of these refer to this thread: changing the search to {"will have had gone" -"language log"} reduces the actual number of hits to 22 (as compared to 'about 106 million' claimed by Google).

  22. mollymooly said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    @Yakusa Cobb: "will have had gone" gave me '68 results' straight off, so I guess the Google elves have auto-patched that. OTOH "will have had been" gives 'About 1,990,000,000 results', resolved to 166 shown.

  23. Sili said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    EasyArray's explanation fits my initial intuition (as a non-native). Only far more eloquently put.

    Unfortunately by now I've repeated the phrase so many times, that I'll swear that I've likely used it, myself, in the past. It sounds only a little odd, and does fill a niche.

  24. Alexander said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    There are also some hits on Google for "will have have [past participle]" that, perhaps, are not typing errors. They might indeed be intended as double perfects in the future, the second "have" locating the time of its complement prior to a reference time that the first "have" locates prior to the time of "will". I hear these as "will've have".

    "if you have been working with an opposite theatre ally from the start of the game, you will have have ensured yourself a good chance of doing two things essential to your victory"

    "All the adjustments to the new prices will have have been passed through by the Central Archaeological Council, by September, 2011,"

    "Learn to control your thoughts and you will have have mastered your ability to becoming more positive at any moment in your life!"

    "Even if not broken, the hymen's hole will have have stretched enough by the time a girl is about to initiate intimacy, resulting in only very mild pain and little bleeding"

  25. Keith said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    For me, "will have had gone" definitely sounds wrong, but "will have been gone" sounds possible.


  26. Ralph Hickok said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

    This is right out of Douglas Adams' brief dissertation on how time travel necessitated the addition of new tenses to the language.

  27. Rubrick said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    In a rather remarkable coincidence, one of the two-dozen-odd "true" hits for "will have had gone" is from a Comics Curmudgeon post by Josh Fruhlinger, author of the Trent Reznor Prize nominee from two days ago.

    [(myl) Indeed. Josh wrote:

    This may look like just another denouement of just another moronic Mark Trail storyline, in which Kelly Welly attempts to force herself on a wide-eyed, terrified Mark right in front of his long-suffering wife — but take a good look at said wife in the third panel. Cherry appears to be vanishing into thin air right before our eyes! If I understand the Back To The Future saga correctly, this means that Kelly will have had gone back in time and prevented Cherry’s parents from ever meeting, resulting in a Mark that was going to be single and shall earlier be open to her lascivious advances. (Sorry if that was confusing, but verb tenses get convoluted when time travel is involved.)

    Maybe Josh will tell us whether he's one of the happy few who allow this innovative tense and aspect combination in non-time-travel scenarios…]

  28. Alyssa said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    I agree with the 'future pluperfect' idea – I can see myself saying something like this:

    "I left some yogurt on the counter this morning. When I get home I'll put it back in the fridge right away, but it might be pointless since it will have had been sitting out for 12 hours at that point."


    "I don't know if the yogurt will taste good tomorrow since it will have had sat out for 12 hours the day before."

    And after googling it, I came upon:

    which offers the example:

    "John will have had run the race by the time we arrive"

    which seems perfectly natural to me.

  29. Eric P Smith said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    @Adrian (and his following): Absolutely right. At the time of writing, Google finds just 18 instances of the phrase "will have had gone" being used (as opposed to being discussed).

    @EasyArray: I'm not sure that your "future pluperfect" conveys anything that a standard future perfect does not. You propose, "At 10pm tomorrow, I will have had eaten my peas several hours earlier". Do you mean to convey anything beyond "At 10pm tomorrow, I will be in the position of having eaten my peas several hours earlier"? If so, then what do you mean to convey? If not, then surely "At 10pm tomorrow, I will have eaten my peas several hours earlier" says, in a standard way, exactly what you mean.

    @Andrew Carnie: I have friends who use "had have". I have no evidence other than my own ear, but I have always assumed that it evolved as follows:

    (1) Standard: "If I had known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake"
    (2) Slightly non-standard: "If I would have known you were coming…"
    (3) Contraction of (2): "If I'd have known you were coming"
    (4) Re-analysis of (3): "If I had have known you were coming"
    So yes, the "had" in "If I had have" is a substitution for "would" and is modal.

    I look forward to your paper.

  30. Alyssa said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    There are definitely several variations on "have have" that I find acceptable.

    I actually first read @Eric P Smith 's sentence "At 10pm tomorrow, I will be in the position of having eaten my peas several hours earlier" as "…the position of having had eaten my peas…"

    And all of @Alexander 's examples sounds fine to me.

  31. William Steed said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

    A more complex example for comedic effect comes from the old BBC Red Dwarf (season 1), based on time travel and predestined events:

    "It will be happening. It shall be going to be happening. It will be was an event that could will have taken place in the future. Simple as that."

  32. The Ridger said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

    "Had have" seems like a reanalysis of "would have", I agree. But "have had" can't be that.

  33. D Sky Onosson said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    I think the crucial question here is whether, in spoken form, "will have had" ever actually occurs, as opposed to "will've had"?

    I would suggest that if the first does occur, it's nowhere near as often as the second.

  34. Ruben Polo-Sherk said,

    March 6, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Most of the time, you can say sort of the same thing as the future pluperfect with the 'normal' future perfect in English. But that's not the point. You also can usually say sort of the same thing with 'I will do' as 'I'm going to do'. But the reason there are different constructions that are quite similar in some facets is that it gives greater expressive ability, and the same is true with a putative future pluperfect. The existence of a similar construction is not justification for the redundancy of the one in question.

    Additionally, there are cases where it is impossible to use the future perfect:

    He realizes that one hour after he finishes, he'll have had been eating peas for 4 hours.

    You can't say "one hour after he finishes, he'll have been eating peas for 4 hours."

    "Have been eating" would mean here that the eating continued up to that point (i.e. one hour after he finishes), which is self-contradictory.

    It seems to me that perhaps the perceived discord in the grammar of this construction is in its compositionality:

    The construction [I will have done] is composed of [I will (do)] and [I have done].

    Obviously, this one is composed of [I will have done] and [I had done].

    The discord is that there is no such construction as [I have had done], and therefore this construction cannot be composed of [I will (do)] and [I have had done]: while [I will have done] can be broken down into two parts ([I will] and [I have done]), [I will have had done] cannot. This is why, I imagine, Andrew Carnie says that this [have] behaves like a modal (in this case, parallelly to [will], in terms of how it sets up the tense relationsihps of the different elements of the construction).

  35. Dean said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    If I will have had remembered to travel back and respond to this earlier then perhaps a response would have been going to have been being thought up by somebody at this very moment!

  36. Pflaumbaum said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    There's a good bit on the grammar of time travel in Douglas Adams' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:

    "The major problem [with time travel] is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveller's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you for instance how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is further complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations whilst you are actually travelling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own father or mother.

    Most readers get as far as the Future Semi-Conditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up: and in fact in later editions of the book all the pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.

    More here. It all sounds a bit Anglo-Saxon: "wioll haven be", "willan on-eat" etc.

  37. Rick Sprague said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    @Ruben Polo-Sherk: 'You can't say "one hour after he finishes, he'll have been eating peas for 4 hours."'

    I don't buy it. If he's considering the duration of his pea gluttony, what would be the point of postponing the point of view by an hour? He would simply say "When he finishes, he'll have been eating…".

  38. Mr Punch said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    I find myself in partial disagreement with Pflaumbaum on the 'double perfect.' P. cites 'If I hadn't have come on Language Log, I wouldn't be so confused' as an accepted example of [had + have] — but to me it's acceptable only in the negative/counterfactual: 'hadn't have' seems natural, if wordy (the 'have' is unnecessary), but in 'had have' the 'had' seems altogether out of place.

  39. Ralph Hickok said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

    I know a woman whose first language is German and who frequently says "I had should " instead of "I should have."

  40. Pharmamom said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    Yikes! Must be part Hoosier in origin–the construction sounds normal to me. I don't use it, but I mingle with many people who are more rural/small town–this would be one of the more normal-sounding constructions they use, come to think of it!

  41. Pharmamom said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    Here is the context where this sounds fine to me: after this next trip to the store, I will have had gone there and back twelve times this weekend! I wouldn't say it, but it would sound fine to me. It strikes me as a more emphatic expression than simply "I will have gone there and back." It also strikes a chord of completion to my ears that the simpler phrase lacks. I'm just sayin'. :)

  42. Pharmamom said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    And here's one for you: If he gets strep again, he will have had had it five times this winter!

  43. Ruben Polo-Sherk said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    @Rick Sprague: That was a contrived example. The point was that it is possible to have a set of ideas whose temporal relationships require a future pluperfect.

    Consider this one, which is maybe less weird:

    After the army reaches the town, they'll rest for four hours; but still they'll have had been marching for 20 hours when they move out again.

    Here, the reason for including the information that they had been marching for 20 hours is to imply how exhausted they will be when they start marching again. So, while it is still possible to rearrange it to "When the army reaches the town, they'll have been marching for 20 hours. They'll rest for four hours and then move out again.", which is still effective, the "framing" is different.

    And that's the point. It's always possible to avoid compound tenses in English, but we still have them because they allow richer expression. In lanugage, the perspective (for any facet; here, it's temporal relationships) framed in an expression of a description of an idea is an extremely important element.

  44. Andrew Carnie said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    Sorry I should have clarified. We only deal with had+have. will had have is totally ungrammatical for me, and we don't address it in our work.

  45. Lane Schwartz said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

    Lori, I find this construction to be perfectly natural, and I am fairly sure that I have used it myself.

    EasyArray perfectly sums up the situation where I might use this construction and where I find it to be perfectly natural.

    I agree with Ruben Polo-Sherk. It is usually (possibly always) possible to convey a similar meaning without using a "will have had" construction. But that said, using "will have had" is useful in certain circumstances to indicate a specific temporal frame.

  46. Lane Schwartz said,

    March 7, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    For reference, here is a journal article from 1995 examining this exact issue:

    The Future Pluperfect: Double Tenses in American English Auxiliaries
    Carole E. Chaski
    American Speech , Vol. 70, No. 1 (Spring, 1995), pp. 3-20

  47. John Roth said,

    March 8, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    I find the following to be perfectly normal:

    "by 7:00, I will have had enough time to read and critique this novel."

    However, the second use of have here is a main verb, not an auxiliary. I find the "will have had gone" to be unacceptable to the extent that I have no idea what it could possibly mean.

  48. jim dempsey said,

    March 8, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    I've noticed American English speakers using past perfect instead of perfect past pretty frequently–"I had gone" instead of jt "I went." Connection?

  49. Ruben Polo-Sherk said,

    March 8, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    More on track with the questions raised in the actual post:

    "Some speakers have reanalyzed modal + reduced HAVE as a single finite auxiliary/modal."

    If that model is applicable here, then people who find [will have had done] grammatical would also find both [will've'nt done] and [will've he done it?] grammatical. My guess is that many of them don't (I find [will have had done]) grammatical, but neither of the above (in their reduced forms) are grammatical to me).

    In that case, what's the mechanism for people seeing it as compositional? Why does it make sense if [has had done] doesn't?

    Clearly if it is taken to be grammatical, the parsing cannot be anything like {will (have had done)}.

    What must be true is that [have] is sort of an auxilliary that, in addition to giving tense information, serves to facilitate embedding its succeeding tensing auxiliaries in the immediately preceding modal or quasi-modal (like [be going to]); thus, strings like "I will have been going to have had it." are grammatical.

    On a tangentially related point, you can also string together [had] for things like plu-pluperfect (and, depending on how convoluted your time travel scenario is, it can continue ad infinitum): I went back to last month to write my paper that was due last week, but I forgot that I had had already written it.

  50. Ellen K. said,

    March 9, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    Found myself just now, typing something on Facebook, and editing it (as I wrote it) to put in a version of this, though progressive tense, "having had verbed". Though, actually, it was "having had just verbed", and that "just" is key to why I used it.

    I posted a video on Facebook, as I did so, commented about someone in it. Then a half hour later I added another thought in a comment.

    Being a [noun phrase], and having just seen [event] last night, and having had just watched [another video], [person] was far from my brain watching this.

    So, I was talking about what was true a half hour earlier. The first two phrases were things true at the time of writing, as well as a half hour earlier.

    But in the 3rd, I was referring to something true at the time of watching the video, but not true at the time of writing the comment a half hour later, namely, that when I watched that video I'd just right before watched a different video. So, "having just watched" didn't quite work. So I added the "had".

    There are no doubt other solutions to solve that. But that was my solution.

  51. Michael Jurkovic said,

    March 15, 2012 @ 1:38 am

    I am indeed someone to which this construction seems quite normal to hear, but not necessarily to say or to write. On the other hand, I understand the analysis presented hear and though I can't quite recall, I know there are other similar constructions. That being said, I'm still surprised by the large number of hits for it!

  52. Afshin Nejat said,

    February 2, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    I have always been fascinated by the various forms of verbal constructions, their various nuances of meaning etc. While I was teaching English in China I had my own system by which I had students master all the forms of grammar and integrated their vocabulary into it so that they could see the consistency of changes based on person, plurality, tense, etc.

    In my charts I was stunned that there was no future pluperfect which seemed worth attempting to teach, not practically. I now see why.

    I am sure that understanding the linguistic intuition which drives our urge to use the auxiliary verb "to have" with a passive form of a verb rather than to merely state the simple past tense is part of the reason we feel the need for a future pluperfect. I think that knowing the "essence" of the passive voice is the key.

    "to have" uses the passive form "to have had". The "verb" part is the passive part. This verb MUST take an object, or else left without an object, but it CANNOT take a verb. I think this is key here. "I have had bread" or "I have had enough" or "I have had surgery" or whatever. We don't say "I have had eating", but we only say "I have done eating" where eating becomes a gerund or "I have been (out) eating" (although we are looking here for something more like the effect of "I have been golfing"). So sometimes we add a word like "out" to make a point about the meaning. "I have been golfing" could refer to my recent habits, or it could refer to the fact that I have done this before. The difference here is that the experience of having done something is now better expressed in simpler form without -ing: I have golfed.

    I have eaten, or I have been eating. It is clear that the simpler passive form does the trick for experiences, and for habits or recent actions up to and possibly including the present, "to be" + v-ing works well. But what of this "had" aspect? I HAD been golfing, I HAD golfed. That is clearly to describe an action of the further past with respect to a more recent past. Those relate to the more recent past as the present tense of the same relates the recent past or entire past to the present.

    So the future. "I will be eating" indicates many possible things. Perhaps I mean to suggest that I WILL be eating, as opposed to the contrary. Or perhaps it simply specifies what I'll be doing in answer to the question of what. "I will have eaten" means to say that I will be finished with eating in the future. "I will have been eating" means to propose the continuous act of eating, probably to express that, preceding to and concurrently with another event, this is what I will be doing (will have been doing). But what of the need to express that something will have been done by the time something else will have happened?

    Remember, the verb following and auxiliary must be a normal verb! I will have had… we need an object (because "to have" requires one). Only an object can follow here. So how can we tell a story about the future where an event has been finished in the future by the time another begins to occur? It is really simple: "I will have (already) eaten when you come home". Another way: "When you will have come home, I will have (already) eaten". We clearly don't need to say anything like "When you will have come home, I will have had eaten".

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