Grammar. 30.10.2012
Grammar Teacher

Использование Past Perfect

Автор: Grammar Teacher

What had you already done before you started reading this page?
Had done – what tense is this?
Yay! You’re right =)  this is Past Perfect.
So today I’m going to tell you about the Past Perfect tense and when to use it.

Let’s watch this video now.

“And he pointed out on the map all the places he had been.”
Did he visit these places before or after he pointed them out?
First, he visited these places. This happened before he pointed out these places on the map to his friends.


So, the first “cross” on the map is his visit to different places. The second “cross”, closer to the present, is the fact that he showed these places on the map.

One action happened before another. Both were in the past.
We use the Past Perfect tense for the earlier action, and the Past Simple tense for the later action (closer to the present).

Let’s take a look at this sentence.
“We had loved each other for 3 years before we got married.”
We had loved each other for a long time, right? For how long? For 3 years. When did we get married? Some time ago. So it also happened in the past.
So we have a long action in the past that continued for some period of time before another action in the past.

The long action up to some moment in the past uses Past Perfect, and the single action uses Past Simple. We also use this as the past equivalent of the Present Perfect.

Let’s look at this example.
I jumped with a parachute 2 years ago!
I had never jumped with a parachute before, so I was really scared. But I’m not scared anymore!
So we have an experience (had never jumped) but before a specifiс moment in the past (before my first jump).

If I say “I have never jumped with a parachute”, it means at no time up to NOW. If I say “I had never jumped with a parachute before yesterday” it means at no time up to SOME TIME IN THE PAST.

So we use the Past Perfect:

  • To show an action that happened before another action in the past;
  • To show a continued action up to a time in the past;
  • As a past equivalent of Present Perfect.

Now let’s discuss the form of the Past Perfect tense. It’s very easy, in fact.
The form is HAD + Verb-3
If the verb is regular, then we use verb + -ed. If the verb is irregular, we use the past participle, the third form of the verb.

Check out a list of irregular verbs here:
Now let’s practice:

  1. Past Perfect – positive and negative Here
  2. Past Perfect questions  - here
  3. Past Perfect mixed exercise  - here
  4. Past Perfect/Past Simple  - here


PS. There is even a book called “Past Perfect”, which you can find here . I think you should read it!!!

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