The Past Perfect

30 Mar
The Past Perfect


How are you today?

I hope you’ve had a good week.

Today we are going to look at a very important past form in English called THE PAST PERFECT.

Sometimes when we want to talk about the past we want to refer to something that happened before a certain time in the past and so we use the past perfect.

By looking at the 2 sentences below we can see they are finished actions in the past and therefore they are in the past simple:

John went out yesterday morning at 8.

However, if we wanted to combine the two sentences to make both actions clear, we may do so with the past perfect.

• Kevin went to visit John at 8.20 but John had already gone out.

Remember that to form the Past Perfect, we use “had” + a past participle.

Let’s have a look at some more examples.

•By the time David arrived, I had already eaten dinner.

•I knew I had met her before when I saw her face!

•She invited me to the cinema but I had already seen the movie.

We can also use the past perfect in reported speech when we are relaying something someone has said.

•Sophie said that she had never been to New York. (Sophie’s exact words were “I’ve never been to New York.“)

•Alex said that he had left his keys at work. (Alex’s exact words were “I’ve left my keys at work.“)

The past perfect is also used in conditional sentences to express regret or to tell someone off, for example,

•If I had studied more, I would have passed all my exams.

•You would have been able to buy a new car if you had saved more money!

I hope this message has helped you understand the Past Perfect a bit better.

Have a great day and keep learning!


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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in ABAENGLISH, ENGLISH, HOME


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