Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Did and Had

Did vs Had

A verb is a word that indicates an action or a state of being. It is often modified into different forms to signify the tense, mode, aspect, and voice of the word. It must be used in accordance to the number, gender, and person of its subject or object. A verb can have a past, present, and future tense, but the English language only has two true tenses, the past and present, with the future expressed in modal construction. Verb tense indicates when the action has taken place.

Most verbs such as regular verbs need the suffix “ed” to form their past tense while some retain their original forms. Others like irregular verbs change stems to form their past tense. Thus, in order to form their past tenses, verbs undergo spelling changes.

Take the case of the verbs “do” and “have,” for example. Both are irregular verbs that undergo spelling changes when changed into their past tenses. The past simple tense of “do” is “did” while the past participle tense of “have” is “had.”

“Did” is used when referring to something that has already been performed or carried out. It refers to an act that has been completed or to something that someone was engaged in. When one finishes a task or job and refers to it later, he would say “He did the job.” It is also used as an auxiliary verb to replace a verb or verb phrase that is used earlier to avoid repetition. An example is the sentence, “You told me to wash those shirts last night, which I did, even though I was already very tired and sleepy.”

The word “do” and all its forms comes from the Latin word “abdere” which means “to put away” and passed on to the Old English word “don” through the Old High German “tuon” and the Old Frisian “duan.”

“Had,” on the other hand, is used to refer to something that someone possessed, accepted, received, held, or has been subjected to. It may refer to a material, a characteristic, an experience, or a quality that one possessed. The words “have, has, and had” come from the Latin word “habere” and passed on to the English language through the Old English “habban” which is related to the Old Norse “hafa” which means “to own, to possess,” or to “have.”

An example is the sentence: “I already had it in my hands, but then it flew away towards the trees.”


1.“Did” is the past simple tense of the verb “do” while “had” is the past participle tense of the verb “have.”
2.“Did” is used to refer to something that has already been performed while “had” is used to refer to something that one possessed.
3.“Do, does,” and “did” come from the Latin word “abdere” while the words “have, has,” and “had” come from the Latin word “habere.”
4.Both are past tense forms of irregular verbs; “did” of the verb “do” and “had” of the verb “have.”

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  1. very interesting and at times very strange to read the differences.Very useful in day today life usuage of language

  2. Gud, it has helped me a lot.

  3. Is it correct to say did you eat your lunch

  4. I am a non native English speaker and I don’t understand something about this topic.
    I have this two sentences: “Which book had you read first?” and “Which book did you read first?”. I know that the one with had is the correct one, nut why? If I read the book this is am action, so from my point of view did should be correct.

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