Past Perfect Tense

What is Past Perfect Tense?

The past perfect tense is used when two actions take place in the past. We use the past perfect tense for the action which took place first and the simple past tense for the action which takes place next.

Example 1:

  • The bus left at 10.30 pm. (First action)
  • We arrived at 10.40 pm. (Second action)
  • When we arrived, the bus had left.

Example 2:

  • The classes started. (First action)
  • we arrived at school. (Second action)
  • Before we arrived at school the classes had started.

How do we make the Past Perfect Tense?

The past perfect tense is formed with the auxiliary verb had and the past participle of the verb (e.g. gone, arrived, taken).

Let us see the structure of past perfect tense.

General Structure

  • 1. Affirmative (Positive) Sentence
Subject Auxiliary Verb Rest of the sentence.
I, We, You, They, He, She, It had Past Participle Rest of the sentence.
  • 2. Negative Sentence
Subject Auxiliary +Not Verb Rest of the sentence.
I, We, You, They, He, She, It had + not Past Participle Rest of the sentence.
  • 3. Yes/No type Question
Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest of the sentence?
Had I, We, You, They, He, She, It Past Participle Rest of the sentence?
  • 4. Information Question?
Question Auxiliary Subject Verb Rest of the sentence?
QW had I, We, You, They, He, She, It Past Participle Rest of the sentence?

Important Note:

Verb – Past Participle

Auxiliary verb – Had

I, We, You, They, He, She, It – Had

1. Affirmative (Positive) Sentences

Subject Auxiliary Past Participle Rest of the sentence

I had finished my work.
You had studied hard.
We had sent a request.
He had gone to Chennai.
She had written the letter.
It had stopped working.
They had rejected me.

2. Negative Sentences

Subject Auxiliary + Not Past Participle Rest of the sentence

I had not finished my work.
You had not studied hard.
We had not sent a request.
He had not gone to Chennai.
She had not written the letter.
It had not stopped working.
They had not rejected me.

3. Yes/No type Question

Auxiliary Subject Past Participle Rest of the sentence?

Had I finished my work?
Had you studied hard?
Had we sent a request?
Had he gone to Chennai?
Had she written the letter?
Had it stopped working?
Had they rejected me?

4. Information Questions

Question Auxiliary Subject Past Participle

Rest of the sentence?

When had I finished my workt?
How had you studied ?
When had we sent a request?
Why had he gone to Chennai?
What had she written ?
How long had it stopped working?
Why had they rejected me?
Where had Ram lived ?

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