Past perfect tense



Past perfect tense is used to express an action completed in the past before another action took place.


Look at the following examples:

  1. The patient had died before the doctor came.
  2. The train had arrived before he reached the station

In sentence 1, "The patient had died" is sentence of past perfect tense, it says about an action which occurred before another action  in past which is "the doctor came". The second part "the doctor came" is sentence of past simple tense.



The past perfect tense is one of four Past tenses. They are Past simple tense, Past continuous tense, Past perfect tense and Past Perfect continuous tense.







How to make the past perfect




Positive (Past perfect)

Past perfect sentences, have the following structure:

  • Subject + auxiliary verb + main verb (Past participle) + Object.
  • Subject + had + 3rd form of verb + Object.

For examples:

  1. We had gone to school.
  2. He had played cricket.
  3. I had written a letter.


REMEMBER

Rules:  For past perfect sentences:






Negative (Past perfect)

Past perfect negative sentences, have the following structure:

  • Subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb (Past participle) + Object.
  • Subject + had + not + 3rd form of verb + Object.


For examples:

  1. We had not gone to school.
  2. He had not played cricket.
  3. I had not written a letter.

Interrogative (Past perfect)

Past perfect interrogative sentences, have the following structure:

  • Auxiliary verb + Subject + main verb (past participle)+ Object?
  • Had + Subject + 3rd form of verb + Object?

For examples:

  1. Had we gone to school?
  2. Had he played cricket?
  3. Had I written a letter?

Interrogative negative (Past perfect)

Past perfect interrogative negative sentences, have the following structure:

  • Auxiliary verb + Subject + not + main verb (past participle) + Object?
  • Had + Subject + not + 3rd form of verb + Object?

For examples:

  1. Had we not gone to school?
  2. Had he not played cricket?
  3. Had I not written a letter?




NEXT --- Past Perfect continuous tense

PREVIOUS --- Past continuous tense

For past perfect tense exercise, click here

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Related topics:


Present Tense

  1. Present simple tense
  2. Present continuous tense
  3. Present perfect tense
  4. Present Perfect continuous tense

Past Tense

  1. Past simple tense
  2. Past continuous tense
  3. Past perfect tense
  4. Past Perfect continuous tense

Future Tense

  1. Future simple tense
  2. Future continuous tense
  3. Future perfect tense
  4. Future Perfect continuous tense