The Past Perfect Tense

The Past Perfect Tense

The Past Perfect Tense

 

This tense indicates that a certain event or action in the past was completed “perfectly” in the past before something else happened.

 

When do we use the tense?

(1) A completed action before something else happened.
“When I arrived, the class had ended.” ( The class ended, then I arrived. )
(2) To explain or give a reason for something in the past.
“I had eaten lunch, so I am not hungry.”
(3) Something that started in the past and continued up to a point in the past.
“When I graduated, I had been in America for 8 years.”
(4) Third conditional
“If I had known you were in the city, I would have visited you.”

 

Affirmative/Positive

 

Pattern:

Subject + had + Verb: Past participle (regular or irregular) + The rest of the sentence

 

Example:

I had walked to school by then.
I had done some stretching before working out.
I had eaten a sandwich before going out for dinner.

 

*Contraction

I’d = I had

 

Negative

 

Pattern:

Subject + Had not/Had never + Verb: Past participle (regular or irregular) + The rest of the sentence

 

Example:

I hadn’t walked to school by then.
I hadn’t done some stretching before working out.
I hadn’t eaten a sandwich before going out for dinner.

 

*Contraction:

*Had not = hadn’t

*We don’t use “I’d not” in this case.

 

Question/Interrogative ( Affirmative )

 

Pattern:

Had/Have + Subject + Verb:Past participle (regular or irregular) + The rest of the sentence

 

Example:

Have you cleaned up the dinner table by the time mom and dad came home?
Had Sarah eaten a sandwich before she left the house?
Had they done some stretching before working out?
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