Past Perfect: Structure, Examples & Questions

Today we are going to learn how to make sentences with the past perfect following simple steps and checking lots of examples.

The past perfect is one the 12 tenses in English and it is used to describe an action that had already finished when another action happened.

  • She had met him before the party
  • The plane had left by the time I got to the airport.
  • She stayed up all night because she had received bad news.
  • My neighbor asked if we had seen her dog.

Continue reading so you can learn more about the uses and the type of sentences you can make with the past perfect tense

Uses of the Past Perfect in English

It is made with “had” and a past participle. For example:

  • I had rented a house
  • I had called Maria from Human Resources

We often use the past perfect to refer to situations which have changed

  • I had planned to go to the beach
  • I had considered asking her out

Past Perfect Examples: Affirmative Sentences

These are examples of the Past Perfect Tense sentences

  • No one told me that the shop had closed.
  • I had planned to go to the beach but look at the rain
  • I washed the floor when the painter had gone
  • They had completed the project.
  • He had finished reading my book
  • I had played this game several times.
  • I had watched two seasons of Breaking Bad
  • I had cooked something special for you
  • She had spoken with him several times.
  • He had forgotten what I said.
  • She had told me what you said.
  • I had seen that movie several times
  • I had forgotten all my problems.
  • I didn’t say anything until she had finished talking.
  • She had met him before the party
  • She had established her company before 2008

Past Perfect Examples: Negative Sentences

These are examples negative sentences made with the past perfect simple:

PositiveNegative
I had playedI hadn’t played
You had playedYou hadn’t played
He had playedHe hadn’t played
She had playedShe hadn’t played
We had playedWe hadn’t played
They had playedThey hadn’t played

As you already, making a negative sentences with the past perfect is really easy, you just have to add hadn’t where had was

These are some examples of negative sentences using the past perfect

  • I hadn’t come here before last night
  • had not visited the country twice before this trip.
  • They hadn’t complained about this before
  • had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Conchal Beach
  • I had not done anything illegal until today
  • I had not studied Spanish until today
  • He had not played soccer until last week
  • He had not seen a tiger until he visited Africa

Questions with the Past Perfect

This is the structure that you use to make past perfect questions:

HadSubject Participle
HadThey been to an opera before last night?
HadShe studied spanish before moving here?
Hadyouever visited the US before 2006?
Hadwe met before toda’s meeting?

These are some examples of past perfect interrogative sentences

  • Had I studied hard for exams?
  • Had I gone to work every day?
  • Had I slept late on Saturdays?
  • Had you seen a movie?
  • Had you prepared for the tes?
  • Had they watched that horror movie?
  • Had they sent the packages?
  • Why had they not studied for the exams?

These are some questions and answers with the past perfect

  • Had you surfed here before?
  • I came last week, this is my second time
  • Had you used this software before?
  • Not until today
  • Had you spoken to him before?
  • We were in the same high school
  • Had she seen a psychiatrist before?
  • No, she didn’t think she needed one
  • Where had the dog gone?
  • It was under the beg sleeping all this time
  • Had you visited Sri Lanka before this trip?
  • A few times when I was a little kid

Past Perfect Examples: Reported Speech

These are some examples of the sentences include the reported speech and the past perfect

  • The teacher asked us if we had studied for the English test
  • The teacher asked us if we had something illegal in our backpacks
  • My classmate asked me if I had taken her pen
  • My classmates asked me if I had already finished the homework

Past Perfect Examples: Wish

These are some examples of sentences that include the verb with and the past perfect

  • I wished I had taken that job
  • I wished I had bought that house when I had the chance
  • I wished I had told her the truth
  • I wished I had been a better friend

Past Perfect PDF Exercises 

These are some PDF Exercises that will help

  1. Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense PDF
  2. Past Perfect or Past Perfect Progressive PDF

Learn More English Grammat

I hope that you have found everything you were looking for about past perfect sentences

These are some related posts with more examples if you want to check these out:

Jose Manuel Campos N - English Professor

About Jose manuel

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share content and lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English