Use of Had – Definition, Rules, Examples and Sentences

Use of Had – Definition, Rules, Examples and Sentences. Meaning of Had with examples and sentence structure. How to use Had in English Grammar. Auxiliary verb Had in the sentences.

What is the use of Had?

Had is the past tense of the verb to have. It is used as an auxiliary verb and main verb in the sentences. In other words we can say that had is the past tense of have. It is used in the past perfect tense sentences.

For examples:

  1. We had a good time.
  2. She had bought a ticket before I reached there.
  3. They had opened the box before his father came.
  4. She had a wonderful weekend.
  5. I had an american flag.
  6. They had five minutes to complete it.
  7. We won the match after it had rained.
  8. You had a great time.
  9. He had a job in Japan.
  10. She had two companies.

Note: In the above sentences, the auxiliary verb ‘had‘ is working as a main verb and a helping verb.

Use of Had - Definition, Rules, Examples and Sentences
Use of Had – Definition, Rules, Examples and Sentences

In this post, you you will learn about the use of had with its definition, rules, examples and sentences.

Use of Had

Had is used as an auxiliary verb in the sentences. It is the past form of the verb to have. Had is used as the helping verb in the past perfect tense. ‘Had’ is also used a the main verb in the sentences of simple past tense. For examples:

  • She had an old umbrella. (auxiliary verb)
  • They had two chairs. (auxiliary verb)
  • I had cleaned my room before he left. (helping verb)
  • John went outside after he had drunk two glasses of water. (helping verb)
  • We had a great weekend last week. (Main Verb)
  • She had her breakfast at 7 am. (Main Verb)

Rules of Had with Examples

Rule – 1 We use ‘had‘ with singular and plural nouns and pronouns.

  • He had
  • She had
  • It had
  • They had
  • We had
  • You had
  • I had
  • John had
  • Jack and John had
  • The girls had 
  • The boys had
  • The children had
  • The men had

Rule – 2Had‘ is use in the simple past tense as an auxiliary verb and main verb to show possession. If you use it as main verb, it means ‘have’ or ‘possess’.


  • The boy had a wonderful day yesterday.
  • I had three letters for him.
  • You had not four cows.
  • The man had five minutes to complete that work.
  • She had a meeting with her colleagues.
  • Your son had not four sheep.
  • Had your father a new car?
  • I had no money when I was with you.
  • We had nothing to eat.
  • George had no books to study History.

Rule – 3Had‘ is used in the past perfect tense as the helping verb. We put the third form of the verb with it.


  • She had done her work before I phoned her.
  • I had had my breakfast when she reached at my home.
  • You had not helped me before the police arrived there.
  • People had not opened the door before the police came in the town.
  • She had caught his husband red handed before he escaped.
  • Had they come to the party before I reached?
  • Had our team scored two hundred runs before evening.
  • They had completed their work before dad reached home.
  • Did you learn something new after you had joined this course?
  • She had bought a new phone by evening.
  • The man had already helped out a family.

Rule 4Had is also used to express experience, undergo, or endure in the past.


  • Our Uncle had a heart attack yesterday.
  • She had wonderful time with us.

Rule – 5 We use had as the main verb in the past participle form in present perfect tense.


  • We have already had our breakfast.
  • She has had a great time recently.
  • I have had a bath in the river.

Rule – 6 We use ‘had’ as ‘to eat or drink, to partake of‘;


  • We had orange juice at the restaurant.
  • She had two apples.
  • Jack had cake for dessert.

Read also:

Affirmative Sentences of Had

To make affirmative sentences of had we follow the steps given below;

  • First of all, we put the subject at the beginning of the sentence. The subject may be a noun or pronoun.
  • Put ‘had‘ after the subject.
  • Write the w or verb III after the auxiliary verb had.
  • If you have written the third form of the verb, write the object, if given.
  • At the end of the sentence, put a full stop.


  1. He had two chairs.
  2. I had five pens.
  3. You had an umbrella.
  4. They had a big party last night.
  5. I had a red shirt.
  6. She had two hundred dollars.
  7. The man had a green ball.
  8. Our friends had four bicycles to ride.
  9. She had three guns.
  10. We had food and a cold drink.

Note: If you are making sentences of Past Perfect Tense, you can make as given below:

  1. She had completed her work before her dad came back.
  2. You had already helped me.
  3. They had done her job before I reached home.
  4. The man had cleaned his car before his friends came.
  5. I had closed my store before your brother reached.

Read also:

Negative Sentences of Had

There are two ways to make negative sentences of had. You can put ‘not’ after had or you can write ‘did not have‘ in place of ‘had not’. Follow the sentence structure given below;

Structure: Subject + had + no/not + noun + other words


  • She had not a coconut.
  • We had not four dogs.
  • I had not three toys.
  • You had no water.
  • She had no money.
  • They had not enough time.
  • She had not four books of maths.
  • The king had not a big army.
  • The boy had not a chance to read.

Other Examples:

  • The man had not cleaned his car before the morning.
  • He had not done his work before it rained.
  • She had not caught the five rabbits before the hunter came.
  • The man hadn’t heard the news before.
  • Your cow had never grazed in this field before.

Note: We can put ‘did not have‘ in place of ‘had not‘;

  • She did not have four bicycles.
  • I did not have money yesterday.
  • Father did not have time.
  • We didn’t have any chance.
  • The man did not have food to eat.

Read also:

Interrogative Sentences of Had

To make Interrogative Sentences of Had, we can use in two ways. If you are making yes-no type questions, put it at the beginning of the sentence. If you are making wh-word type questions, put it after the question words.

Structure for Yes-No Type Questions: Had + subject + noun + other words + ?


  • Had you four bicycles?
  • Had the girl two books?
  • Had we enough time?
  • Had this man food to eat?
  • Had I water to drink?
  • Had you an idea?
  • Had the animals food?
  • Had you five minutes?
  • Had I four years to come back?

Wh-word Types Questions

  • What had she?
  • Who had four sheep?
  • When had they a big party?
  • Who had opened the door before you came?
  • Why had she not met you before she went?

Use of Had Video


In this post, you have learnt the use of had as the main verb and the helping verb. Had is the form of the auxiliary verb to have. If you are using it in your daily life sentences, you must be aware of its use. We have described the use of had with definition rules and examples. You may watch the video of the use of had. The link of video has been given above.

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