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Have had vs have eaten Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 1:30:02 PM
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My wife asked my 5 year old if he had his almonds, nuts and raisins.

Which of the following is the most natural response for him to this question?

1 I have already had them, Mummy.

2 I have already eaten them, Mummy.

3 I have already finished them
Whar is the difference between "have had" vs "have eaten"?
palapaguy
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 1:43:45 PM

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Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Jigneshbharati wrote:
My wife asked my 5 year old if he had his almonds, nuts and raisins.

Which of the following is the most natural response for him to this question?

1 I have already had them, Mummy.

2 I have already eaten them, Mummy.

3 I have already finished them
Whar is the difference between "have had" vs "have eaten"?


If the question used "had' as you wrote it, then #1 would be the most natural response. There is little significant difference between "have had" and "have eaten" when the context is food.

For clarity I would suggest the question be written as "My wife asked my 5 year old if he had had his almonds, nuts and raisins. The first denotes past tense, while the second suggests eating. With only one "had," the question might be interpreted as asking whether your son still had (possessed) the food items. Yeah, pedantic I know. d'oh!
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 3:04:40 PM
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Joined: 11/3/2016
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Neurons: 8,933
Thanks
thar
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 3:05:33 PM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Neurons: 69,313
The question makes it sound rather like they were something he was forced to eat.

With a meal, you don't need to say 'eat' because that is the only thing you can do with a meal - it is rather redundant to ask if they have eaten it.

So the question is 'have you had your lunch?'
Have you had lunch or not? Yes or no?
Yes I have
No I haven't


But with a question like this, are you asking 'have you eaten them or are they still in the bowl?
So the question is 'have you eaten them?'

Yes (I have eaten them already)
No (I haven't eaten them yet. They are still here)

If you ask 'have you had them' it makes them sound like a ritual you have to go through - have you had your medicine this morning?

So it would depend on the context - was this a snack, or something they were expected to have finished already, or not eaten yet?

Have you finished your nuts?
Have you eaten all your nuts?

Yes ( I have_)
No (I haven't, not yet)

I completely agree with palapaguy about the 'had's though. Be careful about 'to have' - present tense - and 'to have had' the present perfect auxiliary + the verb to have.
It is not pedantic - it is how you convey the meaning you want to! Whistle
Romany
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 3:38:05 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I just want to clarify what you mean by "natural", Jigneshbharati.

If you mean grammatically natural and not forced or convoluted, then yes,.

But if you mean "would any English-speaking 5 year-old on the planet ever say these words?" then No.

There's nothing at all "natural" about the sentences.

A lot of kids (and adults) would say "They're finished". "I ate them already", and many "I already ate them." Some would be mischievous and say "I got them...in my tummy." but at the very least it would be "I've".

Please accept what we say so often: Use Contracted Forms. We don't say "I would" we say "I'd"; we don't say "I have" we say "I've"; we don't say "I will" we say "we'll". It's both grammatically and "naturally" correct.

And it wouldn't be at all natural now to say |"I've already had them.", though it might have been, about 50 years ago.

The only time we'd use "had" like that would be in reference to medicines:
"Don't forget to take your pills"
"I already did." "I've already had them. "I just had them" "I had them 2 hours ago, I don't need any now."
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