Although the use of "had had" is grammatically correct, it doesn't read well and seems awkward to me. Take for example the following sentence:

I had had enough of this nonsense and was ready to move on.

What is a better alternative to using "had had"?

closed as off-topic by Neil Fein Jul 26 '13 at 0:51

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Rewriting to avoid "had had" is almost always a good idea. It reads even more terribly than it sounds.

The easy way out is to use a contraction:

I'd had enough of this nonsense and was ready to move on.

...but that's a little cheap. Depending on the context of the quote, you have several options:

Having had enough of this nonsense, I was ready to move on.

I was fed up with this nonsense and ready to move on.

"Damn this nonsense and twirl my whiskers," I said, fully prepared and capable of moving along.

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    Depending on the context, you could try dropping the verb altogether: Enough of this nonsense. I was ready to move on. – Dale Hartley Emery Sep 1 '11 at 5:30
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    Fiddlesticks, old chap! – Neil Fein Sep 1 '11 at 5:32
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    When you say that using "I'd had" is "a little cheap," do you mean it's not a great solution, or that that's to simple to get rep for? :P Seriously, for general purposes, since you're just trying to avoid an awkward-but-simple construction, this can be a great solution. Of course, that kind of relies on the subject of the sentence to work... as do your other suggestions. – Standback Sep 1 '11 at 7:08
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    @Neil: I'm kind of assuming that if somebody really has this problem, it's because his favored formulation of the sentence leans strongly towards the "had had" construction. If he can easily swap the "had had" for a completely different sentence, that's rather less of a problem. – Standback Sep 1 '11 at 10:38
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    Whereas "that's that" is a perfectly acceptable example I had had, and that's that. – Standback Sep 1 '11 at 14:08

How about:

"I was tired enough hearing of this nonsense and was ready to move on"


"I was in no mood to tolerate any more nonsense and felt ready to move on."

These could work well. Let me know if they fitted in well with your sentence structure; since you've only quoted half of it, I can't really tell.

  • I like the way you guys have rewritten the sentence. It just goes to show that it's better to write when you're more awake and alert and able to think more broadly! – Steven Drennon Sep 1 '11 at 16:07
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    It's also easier to rewrite when you have perspective - which is easier when you're not the original author. – Neil Fein Sep 1 '11 at 16:54

"This nonsense was enough! It was time to move on."

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