“Didn’t Had” or “Didn’t Have”: Which Is Correct?

There are a few rules we need to learn and follow when it comes to verb tenses. It would help for you to learn which is correct out of “didn’t had” and “didn’t have.” This article will show you all the rules associated with it to help you out!

Is It “Didn’t Had” Or “Didn’t Have”?

“Didn’t have” is the only correct verb form choice. We have to use the base infinitive form of a verb (“have”) after an auxiliary verb like “do.” There are no cases where we ever change the tense of the infinitive form after an auxiliary verb.

didn't had or didn't have

So, to help you remember the rules, you can refer to the following:

  • Correct: I didn’t have breakfast today.
  • Incorrect: I didn’t had enough time to get this sorted.

You might also be able to tell that “didn’t had” doesn’t make sense just based on how it feels in the sentence. It’s very jarring and makes it seem like the speaker doesn’t have a full grasp of native language rules.

Is It Ever Correct To Use “Didn’t Had”?

There are no cases where “didn’t had” is correct. Whenever we use an auxiliary verb (“did” in this case), we have to stick to using infinitive form verbs.

The same rules would apply no matter what verbs we use. The infinitive form is the only one present after auxiliary verbs to help the readers understand the tense and order of how things happened.

Here are some alternative examples to show you that we must always use the auxiliary and infinitive verb form combinations:

  • Sentence: I didn’t know about this.
  • Auxiliary: Did (not)
  • Infinitive: Know
  • Sentence: I haven’t made my choice.
  • Auxiliary: Have (not)
  • Infinitive: Made
  • Sentence: I didn’t have time to make this right.
  • Auxiliary: Did (not)
  • Infinitive: Have

There are no cases where we would go against this rule. It applies to every verb choice in English, and it’s best that you remember this if you want to show that you have a full understanding of the things you write about.

Examples Of How To Use “Didn’t Had” Or “Didn’t Have” In A Sentence

To help reiterate our points from above, we’ll give you examples of both forms in action. That way, you can really drive home that only “didn’t have” is the correct choice.

  • Correct: I didn’t have what it takes to make this work.
  • Incorrect: I didn’t had a chance to tell them how much they meant to me.
  • Correct: I didn’t have enough time, and I’m really sorry that it came to this!
  • Incorrect: You didn’t had to tell them that, and now they hate me for it!
  • Correct: I didn’t have your feelings in mind when I made my choice, which I’m eternally sorry for!
  • Incorrect: We didn’t had any ideas about what to do for you, so we had to come up with this on the fly.
  • Correct: I didn’t have the knowledge to fix the situation, which is why it turned out this way.
  • Incorrect: You didn’t had to say that. Why did you think that was smart?
  • Correct: I didn’t have the heart to tell them “no.”
  • Incorrect: She didn’t had to hide from them because they weren’t planning on ratting her out.
  • Correct: I didn’t have any more information, which is why I acted on the situation the way I did.
  • Incorrect: They didn’t had my family, even though they gave me the ransom note!
  • Correct: I didn’t have any people around the area at the time, so I didn’t know what was happening.
  • Incorrect: You didn’t had to be there to see more off, but I appreciated it.

As you can see, “didn’t have” is only ever marked as correct. “Didn’t had” is never correct, and we can’t use it as the verb choice. Make sure that you remember the rule as “auxiliary verb + infinitive verb” every time.

How Prevalent Is The Use Of “Didn’t Had” vs. “Didn’t Have”?

Now let’s see how often the two phrases get used. Sometimes, information like this gives us a good insight into how the native language is used today.

According to Google, “Didn’t Had” is mentioned 8,280 times on The New York Times website, while “Didn’t Have” is mentioned 338,000 times.

As you can see, “didn’t had” still gets some usage, which shows that even native writers can make tense-based mistakes from time to time. However, it’s very rare, and it’s best if you learn early that only “didn’t have” is correct for you.

When Should I Use “Didn’t Have” vs. “Didn’t Has”?

We’ve already mentioned that the base infinitive form is important here for the verb tense. However, we haven’t touched on what we can do if we change that form from “have” to “has” (which is the present tense).

“Didn’t has” is never correct, and you should never use it. “Didn’t” is the past tense, which “has” is the present tense. We have to stick to the original rules of “auxiliary verb + infinitive verb,” meaning that only “didn’t have” is still correct.

Again, we’ll include some examples to help you remember:

  • Correct: I didn’t have a moment of silence while babysitting for them.
  • Incorrect: She didn’t has anything left to give them.
  • Correct: I didn’t have the authority to take command of the situation, so I left it in their hands.
  • Incorrect: We didn’t has any money, and we needed to figure out a way to get some food.

Some people believe that the use of “has” comes from pronouns like “she” and “he.” However, this is not the case, as you can see from the example using “she” above. Just avoid using “didn’t has” in all cases.

What Is The Difference Between “Didn’t Have” And “Hadn’t Got”?

“Didn’t have” means that we did not have something in our possession at some point in the past. “Hadn’t got” means that we did not receive something previously. Usually, “hadn’t got” comes when we expected something, even if it never arrived.

  • I didn’t have any money.
  • We hadn’t got the news in time.

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