Giulio
Community Tutor
John where Peter had had had had had had had had had had had the examiners' approval There are 11 "had" in that sentence. There are neither typos nor grammar mistakes. It's a sentence with a meaning. But you need to add the missing punctuation to find it out. I'll add three words to the brain teaser: In his translation John where Peter had had had had had had had had had had had the examiners' approval
Dec 5, 2016 2:01 PM
Answers · 11
Thanks, Grammaticaitaliana! That was fun!
December 6, 2016
To make the speech even more consistent, you have to consider it as being part, for instance, of a story, a novel, or an article, in which the author talks about a person who was telling someone what had happened about the exam. The passage could begin like this: "(name of the person telling) met (another name), and told him about the exam results." Then it begins what is called a "free reported speech", which is a particular style used by many authors: the reported speech (reported by the person talking about the exam) that follows is not sintactically dependent by a reporting verb, meaning that the author doesn't write: "he said that", or "he told him that". After having written "he told him about the exam results.", there is a full stop and the author goes on by writing: In his translation, John, where Peter had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had the examiners' approval. With this narrative tecnique, it wasn't necessary for the author to write "and that" after the semicolon, so that we can have all the "had" in a row, without other words in the middle. If you try and read the speech imagining a context like that, you'll see that it "flows" better.
December 5, 2016
Jesse, Yes, you're right. During an examination test, students had to translate a text. When the exam results were known, a person reporting this fact told somebody, with whom he was maybe talking about that exam, that John, a student, maybe a friend of him, had written (had written = "had had" in the riddle) the words "had had" (past perfect) in a certain passage of the translation (correspondent to "where" in the riddle) on his sheet, while another friend of him, Peter, had written the word "had" (simple past) in the same passage on his own sheet, and that "had had" (the past perfect) had had the examiners' approval, that is, had turned out to be the right translation. Congratulations!
December 5, 2016
Yay! Is it correct if I paraphrased it like this?: John, where Peter had written "had" in the test, had written "had had" in the exam; "had had" had had the examiners' approval. So, John's answer was correct and Peter's was not?
December 5, 2016
John, where Peter had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had the examiners' approval.
December 5, 2016
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Giulio
Language Skills
English, Italian, Spanish
Learning Language
English