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.

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What is Past Perfect Tense, rules and structure with examples?

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.What is Past Perfect Tense, rules and structure with examples

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.

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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 lesson before 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 wh word, 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?
  • Why had you played inside the house?
  • When had 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 not worked 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 had never 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.

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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