Past Perfect Tense


Past Perfect Tense


1. When we refer to a completed action in the past, we can use different past tense forms to indicate what we mean.


Simple Past Tense         +     Simple Past Tense

As the U.S. stock rose, the Asian market rebounded.

We use the Past Perfect Tense for an action or situation that happened earlier, and the Simple Past Tense for the action or situation that took place earlier.


           Past Perfect Tense  + Simple Past Tense

a) The secretary had prepared all the reports before the directors arrived  for the meeting.

b) The situation had already deteriorated when the two leaders agreed to peace talks.



2. We use the Past Perfect Tense with words like already and just to refer to actions which were completed before a specific time in the past.


Ann had already walked a hundred metres down the road when she remembered that she hadn’t locked her front door.

(completed action before a specific time)

We had just had our coffee break when we met some old friends outside the café.


3.  We use the Past Perfect Tense with time words & phrases such as always & more than once to refer to repeated actions in the past, never to refer to an action that had not taken place up to the point of speaking, and yet for an action that we expected to happen in the past but which had not taken place up to the point of speaking.


a)   Mon had always coaxed us to eat our vegetables when we were young.

b)  The old janitor had told us more than once that the lifts were not functioning well but we had not heeded him.

c)    The class had never heard of the famous scientists who Peter spoke about.

d) We hadn’t chosen the venue for our weekend camp yet when the principle suggested the Forest Reserve.

Grammar Builder 5

Pages 44 & 45





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