We have had a lot of incidents with us in the past. We always wish
to share with someone. It is quite easy to describe such incidents in Hindi,
but it creates problems for most of us in English. We are familiar with the past indefinite tense. Do we have another way
to share it? Yes, we have the past indefinite tense to describe such actions in
the past tense.
What is the past perfect tense definition?
The past perfect tense is one of the most
important tenses to show a finished action that happened before another action.
The past perfect tense is often used to display a sequence of
events in the past, especially when one action is completed before another
action takes place.
What is the past perfect tense helping verb?
We always use the “had” auxiliary or helping verb followed by a
past particle of an action verb.
Let’s look at the past perfect examples,
Neha had already learned “SEO” before she started
In this sentence, “had finished” is in the past perfect
tense, showing that the action of finishing homework was completed before the
action of going to bed.
What is Past Perfect Form?
The past perfect form of a verb is also described as the past
perfect particle. It is always used in perfect tenses and passive voice
There are three types of commonly used verbs in English. We use
the past participle form of the verb in the past perfect tense.
Past Perfect Tense Rules
Here are some of the key tips for past perfect tense rules:
The past perfect tense is formed by using the auxiliary verb “had”
followed by the past participle of the main verb.
How to form an assertive
All the subjects + had + V3 (Past participle)
He had never helped me.
How to form a negative sentence
All the subjects + had + not + V3 (Past
They had not sent me any letter.
How to form an interrogative sentence
W.H.F + Helping verb (had) + Subject + V3 (Past
Why had he gone to America before he died?
Past Perfect Use
After you have learned how to form past perfect
sentences differently. Now it comes to learning the usages. Let’s
follow the criteria wherein you use this tense.
The past perfect tense is often used to establish a sequence of
events in the past.
Time: The past perfect tense
is used to describe an action that was completed before another past action or
point in time.
1. He had never thought to get a selection in IIT before.
2. He had just known me for 2.5 years.
3. They had educated a lot of students there since 2014.
4. My family had waited for this moment for a lot.
5. People had awaited the vacancy in the Indian Air Force for more
than one year.
Adverbs: Adverbs of time are
such as ever, by the time, just then, and already often used with the past
1. They had just finished their exams.
2. We had already applied for Google AdSense.
3. My friend had returned from the office just then.
4. He had not cleared his tenses so far.
5. He had not finished the exercise yet.
6. By the time I got to the party, he had already eaten cut and
finished the cake.
The past perfect tense can be used with conjunctions such as “before”
and “after” to indicate the order of events.
1) She had already eaten breakfast before she left for work.
2) They had visited Paris several times before they decided to
3) Kundan joined the company after he had taught students for many
4) The teacher arrived at the class after all the students had gone
to their homes.
Duration: The past perfect tense
can also be used to describe a duration of time that had already passed before
another past action.
1. He had asked me where to use the past perfect tense twice.
2. The students had studied hard for the exam, but they still
found it difficult.
We use the past indefinite tense with (want, hope, expect, think,
suppose, mean, and intend) verbs to show an action that did not happen
accordingly. For example,
1 I had wanted to score 90% on the 12th board.
(But couldn’t score)
2 They had planned to start a new business. (But couldn’t start)
3 He had expected to pass in 11th class. (But he
4 The employees had hoped to receive the appraisal mail by the end
of March. (But didn’t receive)
5 My friends and I had supposed to go to Uttrakhand this time.
(But couldn’t go)
In conditional sentences
When there was a wish in the past, but now it can never be
completed now. We always use the past perfect tense in such situations.
(If + past perfect tense) + (Subject + would have + V3)
1 If he had studied hard, he would have passed in 11th class.
2 I wish I had learned English during school time, I would have
chosen the science stream.
3 If they had knocked at my door earlier, they would have learned
English by now.
4 In case she had not suggested me, I would not have started
5 If he had married her, she would not have left him, come what
6 In case he had tried, he would have saved his life.
Reported speech: The past perfect tense can be used in reported speech to describe an action that had already been completed before the time of reporting.
1) Aman said to his brother, “I did not order this book.”
Aman told his brother that he had not ordered that book.
2) Roma did not say, “I used his notes to pass the examination.”
Roma did not say that she had used his notes to pass the examination.
You can learn direct
and indirect narration with examples here.
In the above-mentioned past perfect tense sentences, there
is a wish, but the subject couldn’t fulfill it.