BASIC ENGLISH GRAMMAR: FUNCTIONS OF THE PAST PERFECT

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 A                                                                                 Event B

I had saved my document                                   before the computer crashed.

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?

Interrogative Negative

Hadn’t                                               you                                                     finished?

 

 

TO DECIDE, PAST PERFECT

Affirmative                         Negative                                          Interrogative

I had decided                       I hadn’t decided                              Had I decided?

You had decided                 You hadn’t decided                        Had you decided?

She had decided                 She hadn’t decided                        Had she decided?

We had decided                 We hadn’t decided                         Had we decided?

They had decided               They hadn’t decided                      Had they decided?

 

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.

  • The train had just left when I arrived at the station.
  • She had just left the room when the police arrived.
  • had just put the washing out when it started to rain.

 

 

 

 

English Avenue Spoken English classes in Bhubaneswar also provide special class and materials for better understanding of grammar and uses of grammar in spoken English.

For more detail call us at 8984293032 or click on the link below.

Welcome To English Avenue

Contact Us

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: