had had


it was the fact that we had had fun-is it okay to repeat had?

See example:

I suppose the only reason I had fun was because I had worked with my team and the actually act of playing volleyball was just thrilling… The it dawned on me maybe it wasn't about the medals or trophies or anything for that matter but it was the fact that we had had fun because honestly I had had one of the best days of my life.
asked Oct 10 '13 at 03:20 Tessa Winger New member

1 answer


Yes, you can use “had had” in a sentence, but it is very awkward to use it twice in a row.  In fact, your sentence has a lot of problems. 


First, you note that there is one (the only) reason you had fun.  Then you provide two reasons – worked with the team, and volleyball was thrilling.  This was probably just one event, but you have written it as two separate things.


“The actually act” is not grammatically correct.  You want to use either “actually playing” or “the act of playing.” 


The first sentence should end after thrilling.  You can find information about the ellipsis in the Grammarly Handbook or from many other sources.


Then it dawned on me.  That is a complete sentence.  You might join the next thought to it with a dash.  Then it dawned on me – maybe it wasn’t…


I would not use “or anything for that matter” followed by an explanation of something.  You mean anything similar to medals and trophies.  I would stick with “medals or trophies.”  The reader can follow that you mean it isn’t about public recognition or symbols of reward. 


“It was the fact” doesn’t match “it wasn’t about.” Usually, we match “it wasn’t about this” with “it was about that” in some way.  It wasn’t about the medals, but about the fact that we had fun. 


Your use of because is misplaced.  The end of the sentence is saying that you had fun because it was one of the best days of your life.  I don’t think that is what you intended to say.


When faced with a long wordy run-on sentence, it is sometimes helpful to boil it down to the various points and then put it back together in a more cohesive way.


I had fun.
I worked with my team.
Playing volleyball was thrilling.
It dawned on me.
It wasn’t about the medals.
It was about the fun.
That was one of the best days of my life.


Here is what I would do with that information:

Playing volleyball with my team was thrilling and fun.  Afterward, it dawned on me.  Maybe it isn’t about medals and trophies.  It is about having fun.  That was one of the best days of my life.


I did change the tense in two sentences, because I think those conditions are still true in the present tense.

link comment answered Oct 10 '13 at 04:33 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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