Past perfect grammar tutorial. In this lesson I am going to teach you how to
form a past perfect and when to use a past perfect. But before we get started it's good to know that in the English language we have regular, and irregular verbs. It is advisable that you study the most commonly used irregular verbs.
Now let's get started. Take a look at these sentences:
I had painted the door yellow.
They had paid for dinner themselves.
Both these sentences are in the past perfect tense.
How do we form a past perfect? For the regular verbs we use to auxiliary verb to have
in it's past form which is had and the past participle.The past participle can be made
by adding -ed to the base form of the verb.
I had kissed her.
You had worked late.
He had cleared the table.
She had placed it on the floor.
It had snowed.
For the plural forms we do the same.
We had walked to school.
You had watched the tennis match
and they had marked the tests.
they have marked the tests
Now we need to pay extra attention attention to verbs that end in an -e, such as live,
close and wipe. These verbs use had and a part participle but, when forming a past particple we only use the base form of the verb and add a 'd'.
I had lived there
He had closed the window
They had wiped the floor.
We also need to pay extra attention to verbs that end a - y, especially those preceded by consonant such as spy and study. Here the 'y' becomes an 'i'
He had spied on his neighbours
and we had studied hard.
Now let's have a look at the past perfect for the irregular verbs, again we use the past simple form of to have and a past participle, but here the past participle has a unique past perfect form.
I had built that shed with my own two hands.
The infinitive form of the verb is 'to build.'
She had bought some flowers at the market.
The infinitve form of the verb is 'to buy.'
We had run the marathon.
The infinitive form of the verb is 'to run.'
Let's have a look at the past perfect in questions for the regular forms again we use the past simple form of the auxiliary verb to have and the past participle. Again the base form of the verb and 'ed.'
Had she talked to him?
Had you kicked the ball?
Had they worked on a farm?
For the irregular verbs we also use the auxiliary verb to have, so had
and the past participle and again the unique past perfect form.
Had she quit her job?
Had you driven her car?
Had they paid for dinner?
Let's have alook at the past perfect in negations. First the regular verbs, we use had plus 'not' contracting it into hadn't and the past participle, which again is made by adding 'ed' to the base form of the verb.
I hadn't listened to the news.
It hadn't rained since Friday.
They hadn't closed the window.
For the irregular verbs we use had and 'not' contracting it into hadn't, and the past participle but again here the past participle has a unique past perfect form.
She hadn't quit her job.
You hadn't ever driven her car.
They hadn't paid for dinner.
Now let's have a look at when we use a past perfect.We use a past perfect for things that happened in the past but before something else in the past. So we use it to
co-ordinate the past. We have two things happening in the past and the past perfect happened at the furthest point in the past.
I had brushed my teeth before I went to bed.
So first I brushed my teeth and then I went to bed and both these things happened
in the past.
Another example is:
They decided to buy a car after the old one had broken down.
So first their old car broke down and then they decided to buy a car.
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