You are on page 1of 2

Verb Tenses: The Past Perfect

PAST PERFECT Past perfect, form
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 We Affirmative She Negative We Interrogative Had Interrogative negative Hadn't you finished? they arrived? hadn't asked. had given. had had past participle decided...

Example: to decide, Past perfect
Affirmative I had decided You had decided He, she, it had decided We had decided You had decided They had decided Negative I hadn't decided You hadn't decided He hadn't decided We hadn't decided You hadn't decided They hadn't decided Interrogative Had I decided? Had you decided? Had she decided? Had we decided? Had you decided? Had they decided?

Past perfect, function
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 first or earliest event, Event B is the second or latest event: Event B Event B

b. John had gone out Event A I had saved my document Event A When they arrived Event B He was very tired Event B when I arrived in the office. Event A 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. d. c. .g.    The train had just left when I arrived at the station. e. I had just put the washing out when it started to rain.a. we had already started cooking Event A because he hadn't slept well. She had just left the room when the police arrived. Event B before the computer crashed.