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Reply to "did - had"

Hi, David,

Hello, Ahmed and Ahmed—None of those options works for me in the sentence as it is written: "did have," "had," or "used to have."

Those would all be appropriate choices if the sentences read: "Now children and mothers have fewer health problems than they did 100 years ago."

However, "fewer" is placed before the subject. It is quantified subjects that are being compared, not quantified objects of "have." I recommend:

  • Now fewer children and mothers have health problems than had them 100 years ago.
  • Fewer children and mothers have health problems now than 100 years ago.

Yes, I completely agree with you. In fact, this sentence is found in Sec 1 and it uses 'did'. I first read it as you did, then I thought that the writer uses 'they' to refer to 'children and mothers'. It is illogical to say that 'they' refers to 'fewer children and mothers' as the sentence will be meaningless then.

Last edited by ahmed_btm