Grammar Lessons: Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Tense

The grammatical form used for an action that had already finished when another action happened.

It is made with «had» and a past participle

For example:

  • 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

Forming the Past Perfect

This is the structure to make sentences

SubjectHadPast Participle
haddecided
They hadleft

Affirmative and Negative Sentences

These are examples of affirmative and 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

Questions with the Past Perfect

This is the structure that you use to make 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?

PDF Exercises 

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

More Grammar Resources

These are some other articles about tenses in English: