Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Past Perfect Tense


The word ‘tense’ is derived from Latin word ‘tempus’ and it means time. Basically tense conveys the time of action.

Tenses are mainly divided into parts – Present, Past and Future. They are further subdivided into three categories – Indefinite, Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous. Let’s learn Past Tense.


PAST PERFECT TENSE is generally used to describe an action completed at certain moment in past or earlier.

Basic Structure of Sentence

Basic structure of a sentence in this tense is –

Subject          +         Had    +         V3 (third form of verb )   +         Object

Shaan            +          Had    +               written                      +          the letter.   


Past Perfect Tense is used to describe/show –

1. An action that was completed before sometime in past :

For example :

1. By that time my friends had gone. (action completed before the time being reported)

2. We had come back by 11:30 pm.

3. They had not made up their mind by then.

4. All students had left by then. (completed in past)

2. An action or event happened earlier than some other event in past:

For example :

1. I had already done the work when my teacher asked me to show. (action happened earlier other event)

2. I had known him to be generous but it was my mistake.

3.  A repeated action in an unspecified period between the past and now:

For example :

1. I had gone there earlier, too. (repeated action in past)

2. She had been there quite often before she got married.


4. Actions completed before some other event (in sequence of simple past) 

For example :

1. The patient had died when the doctor arrived. (in sequence of simple past)

2. I had switched of the T.V. before I went to sleep.

5. for a condition, or a conditional situation :

For example :

1.If she had worked hard, she would have succeeded. (conditional sentence)

2. If the road had been wider, many accidents could have been averted.


Note : We should never use Past Perfect Tense with adverbs of past time (yesterday, last year, etc.)

Verb form used in the Past Perfect Tense–

The past perfect form of any verb is composed of two elements:

1. Past form of auxiliary / helping verb ‘have’ – had (both singular and plural)

2. Verb's third form (V3) – been, taught, learnt, played, sang, slept, gone, etc.

Past form of auxiliary ‘have’ - had

Third form of verb (V3)

He had

slept by the time his friends rang him up.

They had

played the match in the morning.

She had

been there in her childhood.

I had

prepared for class test before it was announced.

They had

left for Jaipur when we reached their place.



  More Examples :

1. They had left the city by that time.

2. They hadn’t submitted their quotation by December last year.

3. The thief had escaped before the police arrived.

4. The train had left by the time we reached the station.

5. I had donated my watch to Mona when you asked for it.

6. When the teacher entered, the students had submitted the test.

7. By the time my friend came, I had slept.

8. The thief had escaped when the police arrived.

Exercise I

I _______________ (put) the letter in a book and ____________ (go) out to play. Next day, When I tried to find it. It took me whole day to get it because I __________ (forget) where I had kept it. Just when I _____________ (leave) all hopes, it got it inside the book exactly where I ___________ (keep) it. I was so thrilled to get it.

Answers :

1.     Had put   2. gone   3. Had forgot   4. Had left   5. Had kept      


Exercise II

Once, I was meeting my patients. One of my patients who was an old man ____________ (tell) me that he  ___________  (slip) in his bathroom that morning. I ___________ (examine) him thoroughly and found out that he _________ (fracture) his leg. I also ________ (feel) that the old man ________ (be) in great pain. I felt respectful for his courage and __________ (provide) him due treatment. We became friends after he __________ (get) discharged from my surgery.


Answers :

1. told                         2. Had slipped         3.  examined            4. Had fractured    

5. Felt                          6.  Had been           7.  provided              8. Had got 

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