Basic English: Past Perfect Tense (English Mania Spoken english classes in bhubaneswar)

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FUNCTIONS OF THE PAST PERFECT

We don’t use the past perfect a lot in English, but it is useful, and it sounds very good if you can use it correctly. Also, it’s really easy to make – just the past simple of ‘have’ and the past participle.

The past perfect refers to a time earlier than before now. It is used to make it clear that one event happened before another in the past. It does not matter which event is mentioned first – the tense makes it clear which one happened first.

In these examples, Event A is the event that happened first and Event B is the second or more recent event:

 

 Event A                                      Event B

John had gone out            when I arrived in the office.

 

Event B                                     Event A

When they arrived                      we had already started cooking.

 


 Event B                                   Event A

He was very tired              because he hadn’t slept well.

 

FORMING THE PAST PERFECT

The Past Perfect tense in English is composed of two parts:

The past tense of the verb to have (had) + the past participle of the main verb.

 

Subject              had         past participle

Affirmative

She                      had              given

Negative

She                    hadn’t         asked.

Interrogative

Had                    they            arrived?

 

PAST PERFECT + JUST

‘Just’ is used with the past perfect to refer to an event that was only a short time earlier than before now, e.g.

Example:

The train had just left when I arrived at the station.

She had just left the room when the police arrived.

I had just put the washing out when it started to rain.

 

 

Other Example

Affirmative

  • I had been (I’d been)
  • You had gone (you’d gone)
  • She had met (she’d met)
  • He had played (he’d played)
  • It had rained (it’d rained)
  • We had bought (we’d bought)
  • They had studied (they’d studied)

 

Negative

  • I had not been (I hadn’t been)
  • You had not gone (you hadn’t gone)
  • She had not met (she hadn’t met)
  • He had not played (he hadn’t played)
  • It had not rained (it hadn’t rained)
  • We had not bought (we hadn’t bought)
  • They had not studied (they hadn’t studied)

 

‘wh’ questions

  • When had I come?
  • Why had you eaten?
  • Where had she gone?
  • When had it rained?
  • Why had he studied?
  • How had we met?
  • When had they left?

 

‘yes / no’ question

  • Had I come?
  • Had you eaten?
  • Had she gone?
  • Had it rained?
  • Had he studied?
  • Had we met?
  • Had they left?

 

 

 

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