The same word twice in a row?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,093 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
While working on future time in English (unlike many Latin-based languages, there is no future tense in English, only ways to express future time), a student asked me, "But that construction is strange. 'He is going to go to the store.' Why do you use 'go' twice?"

And another common example is "had had" for the past perfect. Here, the word 'have' is used twice in a row.

The first example is the definite future. English uses "am / is / are going to" to show a definite future action.

For example, I have my trumpet in my hand. I say, "I am going to practice for 30 minutes." 

If I see that I have no milk in my refrigerator, I might say, "I am going to go to the store to buy more milk."

"Had had" is another construction that seems incorrect, but is actually correct.

"Had" is used an auxiliary for the past perfect tense. For example, "When she arrived, her mother had already gone to the store."
In the case of "had had", the same rule applies: the auxiliary "had" + the past participle, in the case of have, it is "had" . For example, "They had had enough to eat when the waiters brought out a second dessert."

So do not be surprised by "is going to go" or "had had". They are perfectly normal and often used constructions in English!
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