Having driven 100 miles across country, we arrived to find all the hotels had been fully booked.
After having driven 100 miles across country, we arrived to find all the hotels had been fully booked.
There is not much difference in meaning between these two sentences. Generally we use a past participle clause with or without ‘after’ with similar meanings, as here. The use of the both forms emphasises that the first action has been completed before the second action begins. Thus, we could paraphrase these two sentences as follows:
After we had driven 100 miles across country, we stopped and found that all the hotels had been fully booked.
Some people think that the use of ‘after’ before ‘having + past participle’ is redundant, but it is not. Now the question is: Are the two phrases always interchangeable or is there any difference in terms of their meaning or collocate? The google search results testify there are almost equal number of sentences that come with ‘having+ past participle’ and ‘after having+ past participle’.
In the English Grammar Profile, B2 point 92 in the category of CLAUSES/subordinated is defined as:
a non-finite subordinate clause with ‘after’ + ‘having/being’ + ‘-ed’ form, before a main clause, to refer to past time.
Notice that normally, we don’t use participle clauses so much in speech. They are too formal. In informal English, we would probably say: Driving/ After driving 100 miles across country, we stopped and found that all the hotels had been fully booked.
In formal English, participial clauses are very useful. As you will notice from the above examples, when the subject in the participle clause is the same as the participle in the main clause, they help us to say the same thing, but with fewer words.
Here’s another pair of example:
Having taken the wrong turn, Amelia found herself in Bowlero Times Square, not Manhattan.
After having taken the wrong turn, Amelia found herself in Bowlero Times Square, not Manhattan.
However, here the descriptor “After” is generally considered a notation of time. “After having” in the above sentence is a bit redundant, and would generally be considered unnecessary considering the context. Usage with the word after would likely be, “After taking the wrong turn, Amelia found herself …..”
If you go in for “After” in the sentence, it generally implies there were other things that the subject in question had to consider before his work was able to be completed. Hence, if there is a difference, it is a very slight one.
Negative participle clauses
We also use negative participle clauses, in which case ‘not’ normally comes before the past participle:
Not having had anything to eat in the fridge, he was desperate to find something in the kitchen.
Some examples of ‘having + past participle’
Having finished her project, she gossiped with Liam in office canteen.
Having received the parcel, Amelia instantly opened it. (a finished action or an earlier action before another one)
Having finished her homework, Charlotte went to her friend’s house to play.
Having come up to the car, she went back to get her keys.
Having brushed her teeth, she realized she had used her husband’s toothbrush.
Having seen the movie before, she knew what the climax would be.
She knew all the formalities to check in, having travelled abroad several times.
Some more examples of ‘having + past participle’ from the web
Marshall denied having done anything wrong. (The New Yorker)
I should know, having done it. (The New York Times)
“And having done it made them sicker”. (The New Yorker)
Having done that, take an ocean voyage.(The New Yorker)
I feel slightly grubby having done it. (Independent)
He may leave having done the opposite. (The Economist)
Let’s enjoy having done it. (The New York Times – Arts)
It denied having done so. (The Guardian)
Ma denies having done so. (The Guardian)
They’re not evil for having done this. (The New York Times)
“I can’t ever imagine having done this. (The New York Times – Sports)
Mr. Fisk denied having done so. (The New York Times)
Having done that, we have a choice. (The Guardian – Opinion)
Boy immediately regrets having done this. (The New Yorker)
Some examples of ‘after having + past participle’ from the web
But what not many people know is that in the late 1960s, after having done more research on human behavior, Maslow amended his model, and the conventional description of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is actually a highly inaccurate as a description of his later thought. (Huffington Post)
Shortly after having done so, Frank isn’t feeling very well. (The New York Times)
Was it any easier creating a two-hour premiere for the show after having done it last season? (The New York Times)
Mr. Williams discovered her in 1991, after having done a research paper on the Amish as a college freshman. (The New York Times)
“And I liked seeing that Guy, even after having done tons and tons of movies is still scared,” he adds. (The Guardian – Film)
Jacob, who was 5, was mercifully drifting off to sleep in the back seat after having done his best to pretend he enjoyed watching his first live races. (The New York Times)
After having done it once, those costs might drop to $40,000 in every later year. Hedge funds command little pity these days. (The Economist)