Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect

Past Perfect Tense

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Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense is formed with the past tense of the auxiliary verb have, which is had and the past participle of a main verb (e.g. eaten, stolen, taken). The past perfect tense in a sentence or conversation describes an event that happened in the past before another event in the simple past tense was completed in the past.

The Past Perfect Tense is used:

for an action which took place and completed in the past. 


  • He had hurt his back in an accident at his workplace.
  • Bob had borrowed money from the bank.
  • We were glad that the train had arrived on time.

for an action which happened before a definite time in the past.

The Past Perfect Tense / Прошедшее совершенное время

Past Perfect Tense

Прошедшее совершенное время (The Past Perfect Tense) в английском языке обозначает действие, которое завершилось до некоего момента в прошлом.

I called my mother too late, she had already left. —
Я позвонил(а) маме слишком поздно, она уже ушла.

Казалось бы всё просто. Но сразу же вспоминается другое время в английском языке — The Past Simple Tense (простое прошедшее время), которое тоже описывает действие в прошлом. В чем разница простого прошедшего времени от прошедшего совершенного? Об этом в данной статье читаем ниже!

Примечание: Ознакомиться с простым прошедшем временим можно в материале «The Past Simple Tense / Простое прошедшее время«

Образование прошедшего совершенного времени

The Past Perfect Tense образуется при помощи вспомогательного глагола to have в форме прошедшего времени и причастия прошедшего времени (Past Participle) смыслового глагола.

I had worked. — Я работал.

Утвердительные предложения в прошедшем совершенным времени:

I had playedWe had played
You had playedYou had played
He / she / it had playedThey had played

Вопросительные предложения в прошедшем совершенным времени:

Had I played?Had we played?
Had you played?Had you played?
Had he / she / it played?Had they played?

Отрицательные предложения в прошедшем совершенным времени:

I had not playedWe had not played
You had not playedYou had not played
He / she / it had not playedThey had not played

Существуют наречия, союзы и предлоги, которые употребляются в настоящем совершенном времени (The Present Perfect Tense) как слова-спутники:

already [ɔːl’redɪ] — уже;
just [ʤʌst] – только что;
never [‘nevə] – никогда;
ever [‘evə] – когда-либо;
for [] – в течение;
when [] – когда;
before [] – прежде чем.

He hadneverbeen abroad. — Он никогда не был за границей.
They had lived in Moscow since 1998. — Они живут в Москве с 1998 года.

1. Наречия already, justneverever стоят, как правило, между вспомогательным глаголом to have и Participle II;

Наречия yet, latelyrecently ставятся в конце предложения;
3. Союз и предлог since стоит перед словом или предложением, к которому он относится.

В чем разница простого прошедшего времени от прошедшего совершенного?

  • Прошедшее перед прошедшим

Рассмотрим следующую ситуацию:

Представим, что мы приехали в аэропорт, но наш самолет уже улетел.
Что произошло в первую очередь: мы приехали или самолет улетел? Мы успели на самолет или помахали ему вслед рукой? Как объединить эти два действия в одно предложение, чтобы не потерять смысла?

Если мы все же успели на самолет, то используем Past Simple (действия, которые произошли последовательно одно за другим):
We arrived in the airport and the airplane flown. – Мы прибыли в аэропорт и самолет улетел.

Но, если нам не повезло, и мы все-таки опоздали на самолет, то используем Past Perfect (мы даже не видели самолет, потому что действие завершилось до того, как мы прибыли):
We arrived in the airport but the airplane had flown. – Мы прибыли в аэропорт, но самолет уже улетел.

  • Прошедшее перед прошедшим с указанием конкретного времени

Обычно с Past Perfect не указывается конкретное время. Но в некоторых случаях говорящий может указать время, когда это действительно важно.

Но не забывайте, что если конкретное время не указывается, использование Past Perfect обязательно!

  • Длительное действие перед другим прошедшим

Следующая ситуация, в которой целесообразно использовать Past Perfect – когда действие началось до другого действия в прошлом, и продолжалось до него.

They had had their old car for ten years when they bought a new one. –
У них была старая машина десять лет, перед тем, как они купили новую.

Обычно для таких действий мы употребляем Past Perfect Continuous, но с глаголами состояния используем Past Perfect, потому что глаголы состояния не употребляются во временах группы Continuous (Progressive).

Примечание: О глаголах состояния в английском языке можно прочитать здесь.

Запомните!С Past Perfect используются следующие глаголы (не смотря на то, что они не являются глаголами состояния):work — работать;teach — обучать;study — учить;

live — жить.


What is Past Perfect Tense, rules and structure with examples

Past Perfect Tense

What is Past Perfect Tense, rules and structure with examples: Past perfect tense is somewhat typical to use as most of the learners get confused that how to apply past perfect tense rules in different situation.

Without any grammatical language if we roughly say that it is “Past in Past”, then it would be a better explanation to past perfect tense.

Past perfect tense rules and structure with examples is given below that will make this tense more easy to understand.

Also Read: Step by Step order to learn English grammar

Past Perfect Tense

Past perfect tense is used to express any action that was completed before any action occurred. Grammatically, Past perfect tense is composed of two main parts: Auxiliary verb and 3rd form of verb.

If we explain it with the help of an expression, then it can be written as follow.

Past Perfect Tense= Subject + had + 3rd form of verb + Object.

Let’s take an example to elaborate past perfect tense,

The bus had left when we reached at the bus-stand.

In the example it is stated that when we reached at bus –stand, the bus had already gone from the bus-stand. The action was completed before another action occurred. Now let’s discuss structure of past perfect tense with the help of some examples.

Also Read: How to improve your English vocabulary skills?

Structure of Past perfect tense

Positive Sentence

In positive sentences, we simply make the sentences according to Past Perfect Tense rules.

For Example

  • I had given this exam last year.
  • She had visited London before I asked her for London trip.
  • We had played cricket when you reached the ground.
  • Teacher had taught the lessonbefore I entered into the classroom.
  • Jack complained about his car because he had lost it.

Negative Sentences in the Past Perfect Tense

When we make negative sentences, we normally use not after auxiliary verb.

Negative Past Perfect Tense = Subject+ had+ not + 3rd form of verb +Object

For example

  • I had never seen her before summer vacation.
  • We had not finished our assignment last week.
  • The match had not started before I reached to the ground.
  • They had not told me everything before the exam started.
  • You had not done this before I asked you.

Yes/No Questions in the Past Perfect Tense

When you make any question that can be answered as yes or no, then you should start it with auxiliary verb followed by the subject and the base verb.

Yes/No Sentences = Had + Subject + 3rd form of verb +Object?

For example

  • Had she made design before her presentation?
  • Had they gone for the trip when you reached their?
  • Had you caught that cat before she drank the milk?
  • Had you missed that shot when he hit you?
  • Had she worked for that company last year?

Wh- Questions in the past Perfect Tense

When you make any question that starts with whword, then you should start it from wh word  and then add auxiliary verb, after that Subject followed by base form.

Wh words are when, why, who, where, whom, how, what, how much, how many.

WH Sentences = Wh word + Had + Subject + 3rd form of verb +Object?

For example

  • Where had he lived in America before we went to America?
  • Whyhad you played inside the house?
  • Whenhad Steve come back from England?
  • What had you done before I met the client?

Tag Questions in the Simple Past Perfect Tense

Tag questions are those questions which are answered at the end of the sentence. They can be simply made by adding auxiliary verbs.

For examples

  • I had gone to the market, had not you?
  • She had done this task, hadn’t she?

You can also use tag questions in positive sentences

  • She had not read news paper, had she?
  • Those girls had not basketball, had they?

More Examples to unfold some other aspects

  • Why had you not done anything before the match started?
  • I had notworked in the company before you joined.
  • Why had you not studied in the class?
  • Had she not laughed at me before I did makeup?
  • Had you all boys not left that ground before the press came?

Rules for using past perfect tense

  • Reported Speech
  • If statements (Conditional)
  • Any action happened before past events

Reported Speech

Reported speeches are those in which we express our thoughts and we report for something. In reported speech past perfect tense is used.

For example

  • Mark said that he hadnever gone to America.
  • She told me that she had eaten her lunch.
  • I thought that he had lost his control on the car.
  • We wondered that why we had given them this chance to play cricket.

If statements (Conditional)

When you make any hypothetical or unreal thoughts then past perfect tense is used at that place.

For example

  • I wish we had worked hard for our examination.
  • If I had known you, I would have called you for the dinner.

Any action happened before past events

For any action which happened before any past event, then at that place we use past perfect tense.

For example

  • Had you seen her before your college?
  • She was tired as she had worked continuously for many days.
  • I reached at the bus stop very late. All the buses had already gone.        
  • As soon as we had completed our project, we went to coffee shop.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and get what you wanted. So this was all about what is Past Perfect Tense, rules and structure with examples. If you feel any problem regarding this topic then comment below so that we can solve out your problems.

Also Read

Simple Present Tense

Present Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Simple Past Tense

Past Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Simple Future Tense

Future Continuous Tense

Future Perfect Tense

Future Perfect Continuous Tense


Past perfect tense – English grammar

Past Perfect Tense

Let’s start with an example of the past perfect in context:

Yesterday, Mark was tired because he had walked to work.
(The bold text is the past perfect)

David Castillo Dominici |

In the example, there are 2 actions / events from the past.

The 2 actions occur in this order:

We use the past perfect to describe the first action or event from the past.

In this English grammar lesson, you will learn:

  • the form of the past perfect tense
  • the use and meaning of the past perfect (there are other uses)

Affirmative form

full form:
subject + “had” + past participle

contracted form:
subject + “‘d” + past participle

Full formContracted form
I had walkedI‘d walked
you had walkedyou‘d walked
he had walkedhe‘d walked
she had walkedshe‘d walked
it had walkedit‘d walked
we had walkedwe‘d walked
you had walkedyou‘d walked
they had walkedthey‘d walked

negative full form

subject + “had not” + past participle

I had not walked
you had not walked
he had not walked
she had not walked
it had not walked
we had not walked
you had not walked
they had not walked

negative contracted forms

There are 2 choices:

subject + “hadn’t” + past participleor

subject + “‘d not” + past participle

negative contracted form 1negative contracted form 2
I hadn’t walkedI‘d not walked
you hadn’t walkedyou‘d not walked
he hadn’t walkedhe‘d not walked
she hadn’t walkedshe‘d not walked
it hadn’t walkedit‘d not walked
we hadn’t walkedwe‘d not walked
you hadn’t walkedyou‘d not walked
they hadn’t walkedthey‘d not walked

Question form

“Had” + subject +  past participle  .. ?

Full form
Had I walked…. ?
Had you walked…. ?
Had he walked…. ?
Had she walked…. ?
Had it walked…. ?
Had we walked…. ?
Had you walked…. ?
Had they walked…. ?

Question form with “question words”

We can use several “question words” to form a question with the past perfect:


why      +    “Had”  +  subject  +   past participle   .. ?




What had he eaten?

by marin |

Where had she been?
How had he lost weight?

Past participles

What is the past participle? How do we form a past participle?

Regular verbs

The basic rule for regular verbs is to add –ed to the base form:

clean   >  cleaned
walk   >   walked

Irregular verbs

base formpast participle

For all the rules and exceptions for forming the past participle for regular and irregular verbs, use a good dictionary.

Actions in the past before other actions

We use the past perfect to describe an action in the past before another action in the past.


When she arrived at the station, the train had already left.

by Andy Newson |

Mark was happy because he had found a new job.
She passed the exam because she had studied hard.

Past perfect in reported speech (indirect speech)

In English, there are 2 methods to say what somebody has said:
1) Direct speech. The exact words that the person said. It is from the perspective of the person speaking.
2) Reported speech (indirect). We report what a person said using our words. It is from our perspective.

Direct speech example:
Mark said, “I chocolate.”

Indirect speech example:
Mark said that he d chocolate.

If the reporting verb of the speech is in the past, then often we change the tenses of the reported speech.

Direct speech tenseReported speech tense
Present simplePast simple
Present perfectPast perfect
Past simplePast perfect

As you can see from the above table, if the reporting verb is in the past, then we use the past perfect in the reported speech if the present perfect OR past simple was used in the original direct speech.

Here are 4 examples:

Example 1:

Direct speech:Mark said, “Jane has gone to London.” (present perfect)

Reported speech:

Mark said that Jane had gone to London. (past perfect)

Example 2:

Direct speech:Mark said, “I have lost my key.” (present perfect)

Reported speech:

Mark said that he had lost his key. (past perfect)

Example 3:

Direct speech:Mark said, “I bought a car.” (past simple)

Reported speech:

Mark said that he had bought a car. (past perfect)

Example 4:

Direct speech:Mark said, “We enjoyed our meal.” (past simple)

Reported speech:

Mark said that they had enjoyed their meal. (past perfect)

Past perfect in conditionals

We use the past perfect to describe an unreal or imaginary situation in the past. This is known as the third conditional.

If he had walked to work, he would have been late.
If you had invited me to the party, I would have come.
If I had had more money, I would have bought you a watch.

Look at the last example again. The first “had” is the auxiliary verb. The second “had” is the main verb. It is the past participle of the verb “have”.

More English lessons

Private online English lessons
The ing form of English verbs
The verb “to BE” – English irregular verbs
Irregular verbs in English
Past simple tense in English
Present perfect verb tense in English

English video lesson


Past Perfect Tense Examples

Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense is used to show that something happened before another action in the past. It can also be used to show that something happened before a specific time in the past.

How to Form The Past Perfect Tense

To form the past perfect tense you use the past tense of the verb “to have,” which is had, and add it to the past participle of the main verb. For example: subject + had + past participle = past perfect tense.

Some examples of the past perfect tense can be seen in the following sentences:

  • Had met: She had met him before the party.
  • Had left: The plane had left by the time I got to the airport.
  • Had written: I had written the email before he apologized.
  • Had wanted: Kate had wanted to see the movie, but she did not have money for the ticket.

Using Past Perfect Tense

There are several situations where the past perfect tense can be used. It is appropriate to use in the following ways.

To show that an action happened before something else in the past:

  • She stayed up all night because she had received bad news.
  • They lost many of the games because they had not practiced enough.
  • Anthony had met Ryan before you introduced him to us at the party.
  • You had studied Italian before you moved to Rome.

To show that an action happened before a specific time in the past:

  • She had established her company before 2008.
  • He had never played football until last week.
  • They had gotten engaged before last year.
  • I had fallen asleep before eight o'clock.

Keep in mind that past perfect tense makes it clear that one thing happened before another in the past. The order of events does not matter since the tense makes it clear which event happened first.

Another use of past perfect tense includes reported speech. Examples of this use include:

  • The teacher asked if we had studied for the exam.
  • The usher asked if we had purchased our tickets.
  • My neighbor asked if we had seen her dog.
  • The boss had said it would be a long meeting.

Past perfect tense can also be used to show dissatisfaction with the past. Examples of this use include:

  • We wished we had purchased the winning ticket.
  • I wished I had told the truth.
  • She wished she had seen her friend.
  • The boy wished he had asked another question.

Past perfect tense can also be used with the word “just.” When combined, this makes it clear that the event was only a short time prior. Some examples of this include:

  • She had just left the scene when the ambulance arrived.
  • He had just put the dog on the leash when we got there.
  • The bus had just left when we got to the stop.
  • I had just gone outside when it started to rain. *

*Note that the past participle of “to go” is “gone” and not “went” so that is used to form the past perfect form as well.

Examples of Past Perfect Tense

The following are more examples of past perfect tense in sentences. The past perfect tense is underlined in each sentence.

  • I had never seen such a beautiful sunset before I went to the island.
  • We were not able to stay overnight at the hotel since we had not reserved a room in advance.
  • She had never been to the symphony before last night.
  • Marc knew Philadelphia so well because he had lived there for five years.
  • He understood the math test because he had been tutored all week.
  • I did not have any cash because I had lost my purse.
  • I had been to Mexico once before.
  • If I had seen him, I would have told him the news.
  • Before he did his homework, he had stayed after school for help.
  • She had lived in California before moving to Texas.
  • The cat had chased the bird before it flew the yard.
  • We had just called home when my mom texted us about returning the car.
  • She had visited several doctors before she found out what the problem was with her hand.
  • If we had called ahead, we would not have needed to wait so long for a table.

The past perfect tense is used to show past actions. The past perfect tense demonstrates the past relative to timing or other past events and is often used for reporting on things that happened or were said. It is easy to form by adding had along with the past participle of any verb.

YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2018 by LoveToKnow Corp


The Past Perfect Tense. Предпрошедшее время в английском языке

Past Perfect Tense

Время Past Perfect Tense является последним важным временем из группы прошедших времен в английском языке и предлагается для изучения на уровне ADVANCED.

И не потому что оно такое уж сложное, а просто потому что на среднем уровне изучения английского языка можно обойтись и без него.

Зачем забивать себе голову тем, что редко используется, мы же не в школе)) Но теперь, когда вы уже изучили Past Simple Tense, Past Continuous Tense, займемся и Past Perfect Tense.

* * *

1. Как поставить глагол в Past Perfect Tense

The Past Perfect Tense относится к группе перфектных времен и отличается от Present Perfect только тем, что вместо глагола have/has в нем используется had, который является формой прошедшего времени глагола have.

ПРИМЕРЫ предложения в Past Perfect:

  1. I had done my work by 5 o’clock.  — Я сделал работу к 5 часам.
  2. He had had dinner before he went out. — Он пообедал перед тем как ушел.

* * *

2. Когда использовать Past Perfect Tense

The Past Perfect Tense дословно переводится как прошедшее совершенное время, но я называю его предпрошедшее время, так как оно используется, когда надо показать, что одно прошедшее действие произошло раньше другого прошедшего действия. Такое предшествование в русском языке передается словом уже.

ПРИМЕР He had read the book when I came. — Он уже прочитал книгу к моему приходу.

Итак, Past Perfect Tense используется:

  1. Во-первых, для описания действий, которые были закончены к определенному моменту времени в прошлом. Этот момент времени может выражаться:
    • предлогом by (к);
    • придаточным предложением в прошедшем времени.


  1. They had cleaned the flat by 5 o’clock. — Они убрали квартиру к 5 часам.
  2. Nora had married by the time he met her. — Нора уже была замужем к тому времени, как он познакомился с ней.

В этих случаях в русском переводе логически возможно подставить наречие уже.

Tom returned from the cinema at 5 o’clock. — Том вернулся из кино в пять часов.
Tom had returned from the cinema by 5 o’clock. — Том уже вернулся из кино к пяти часам.

2. Во-вторых, для чтобы показать, что одно событие в прошлом произошло раньше другого, при этом:

  • часто с союзами after — после, before — перед, when (в значении after);
  • c наречием scarcely — едва, как только перед придаточным предложением c союзами when (before).


  1. She sold the book that I had given to her. — Она продала книгу, которую я ее подарил.
  2. Where had you worked, before you entered the institute? — Где ты работал, до того как поступил в институт?
  3. We reached the station, before it had become dark. — Мы пришли на станцию еще до того как стемнело.
  4. After she had cried, she felt better. — После того как она поплакала, ее стало лучше.
  5. When (=after) they had gone, he began to work. — После того как они ушли, он начал работать.
  6. They had sailed away when the telegram arrived. — Они уже отплыли, когда пришла телеграмма.
  7. He had scarcely shaken our hands when the phone rang. — Едва он успел пожать нам
    руки, зазвонил телефон.

Однако, если нет необходимости подчеркивать предшествование одного действия другому, то после after употребляется Past Simple. Тогда в русском переводе подставить наречие уже, логически невозможно.
ПРИМЕР. After he turned off the light, he left the room. — После того как он выключил свет, он вышел из комнаты. (нельзя подставить уже). 3. В-третьих, при согласовании времен в косвенной речи.

ПРИМЕР. He said (that) he had bought the sweets the day before. — Он сказал, что купил эти конфеты вчера.

* * *

3. Past Perfect Tense. Упражнения

Упражнение 1. Раскройте скобки, употребляя глаголы в Past Perfect.1. I (to finish) my work by seven o’clock.2. He thought that he (to lose) the money.3. Ann told me that she (to see) an interesting film.4.

When I came home, mother already (to cook) dinner.5. When father returned from work, we (not to do) our lessons yet.6. When the teacher entered the classroom, the pupils already (to done) their tests.7.

Kate showed me the book which she (to buy) the day before.

8. The teacher understood that Lena (not to do) her homework.


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