Verb tenses: Past Perfect

Hi sweetie,

Now we will talk about the Past Perfect, a verb tense which adds a bit mote of confusion to the scene. But keep calm, and carry on: with time, things will improve.


Past Perfect

The verb tense Past Perfect has always the form:

[had] + Past Participle

A verb in the Past Participle is

[Verb + ed] or third column of the irregular verbs list

Examples:

  • You had studied English before you moved to New York.
  • Had you studied English before you moved to New York?
  • You had not studied English before you moved to New York.

Use of the Present Perfect

The Present Perfect is used in two occasions:

Completed action before something in the past

The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.

pastperfect

Examples:

  • I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Kauai.
  • I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.
  • Tony knew Istanbul so well because he had visited the city several times.
  • Had Susan ever studied Thai before she moved to Thailand?
  • She only understood the movie because she had read the book.
  • Kristine had never been to an opera before last night.
  • We were not able to get a hotel room because we had not booked in advance.

Duration before something in the past

We also use the Past Perfect to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action in the past.

pastperfectcontinuous

 

Examples:

  • We had had that car for ten years before it broke down.
  • By the time Alex finished his studies, he had been in London for over eight years.
  • They felt bad about selling the house because they had owned it for more than forty years.

Exercises

Test your knowledge with the following exercises (pay attention, these are difficult exercises):

  1. Fill in the blanks;
  2. Fill in the blanks again.

Help

It is always useful to check the irregular verbs list.

Beijo do Pai!

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