1. Forming the Past Perfect Tense
The Past Perfect tense in English is composed of two parts: the past tense of the verb to have (had) + the past participle of the main verb.
S + had + past participle + …
E.g. She had finished.
S + had not + past participle + …
(had not = hadn't)
E.g. She hadn't finished.
Had + S + past participle + …?
E.g. Had she finished?
2. When do we use the Past Perfect Tense
- Action finished before another past action
E.g. Richard had gone out when his wife arrived in the office.
- Action happened before a specific time in the past
E.g. Christine had never been to an opera before last night.
- Action started in the past and continued up to a given time in the past
E.g. We had owned that car for ten years before it broke down.
- Cause and effect (combine with Past Simple)
E.g. I got stuck in traffic because there had been an accident.
- Emphasize the result of an activity in the past
E.g. I had been to London twice by the time I got a job in New York.
3. Time expressions in the Past Perfect Tense
- the moment that