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The past perfect tense works a bit differently than the simple past or past continuous tenses. It shows that one thing happened before another in the past. It’s like talking about something that already happened before another thing in the past. Let’s check out how different dictionaries explain the past perfect tense.
Also Check: Past Continuous Tense
Definition of Past Perfect Tense
The past perfect tense in grammar shows an action that finished before another happened. For example, “had finished” or “had eaten.” Different dictionaries explain it in various ways. One says it’s for actions finished before a point in the past, while another mentions it’s about completed actions before a specific past time. They might also call it ‘pluperfect,’ meaning something completed before a certain past moment.
Functions of the Past Perfect Tense
The past perfect talks about something that happened before another event in the past. It helps show which event came before the other, no matter which one is talked about first.
Also Check: Simple Past Tense
Forming the past perfect
The Past Perfect tense is composed of two parts: the past tense of the verb to have (had) + the past participle of the main verb.
Also Check: Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Structure and Formula of the Past Perfect Tense
Understanding how the past perfect tense is set up and its formula will actually surprise you in how useful it can be. Once you get the hang of what it is, everything becomes easier. Let’s check out the formula for the past perfect tense.
|Structure of the Past Perfect Tense
|Subject + had + past participle + the rest of the sentence
|Subject + had + not + past participle + the rest of the sentence
|Had + subject + past participle + the rest of the sentence
|Had + subject + not + past participle + the rest of the sentence
Hadn’t + subject + past participle + the rest of the sentence
Uses of the Past Perfect Tense
- To show the sequence of multiple events that happened in the past.
- To talk about the time until a particular moment in the past.
- To explain that an action wasn’t finished by a certain point in the past when another action occurred in the simple past tense.
Past Perfect Tense FAQs
What is past perfect tense examples?
Past perfect tense shows an action completed before another action in the past, like She had finished her homework before dinner.
What is the formula of past perfect tense?
The formula for past perfect tense is had + past participle, as in had + verb (past participle).
Which one is past perfect tense?
Past perfect tense describes actions completed before another past action, such as had written or had gone.