TENSES - Past Perfect

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TENSES - Past Perfect

Post  Vincent Law on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:37 pm


Introduction:
The past perfect tense is often used in English when we are relating two events which happened in the past. It helps to show which event happened first. This page will explain the rules for forming and using the tense.

Forming the past perfect tense:
This tense is formed using two components: the verb HAVE (in the past tense), and the past participle form of a verb. With a regular verb the past participle ends with -ED (just like the simple past). Irregular verbs have a special past participle form that you have to learn. Here are the rules, using the regular verb "arrive" and the irregular verb "eat":

Subject - HAVE - Past Participle - Contraction
I had arrived. I'd arrived.
You had arrived. You'd arrived..
He had arrived.He'd arrived.
She had arrived. She'd arrived.
It had arrived. It'd arrived.
We had arrived. We'd arrived.
They had arrived. They'd arrived.

I had eaten. I'd eaten.
You had eaten. You'd eaten.
He had eaten. He'd eaten.
She had eaten. She'd eaten.
It had eaten. It'd eaten.
We had eaten. We'd eaten.
They had eaten. They'd eaten.

Using the Past Perfect:
The past perfect is used to show you which of two events happened first. Imagine that two things happened in the past:
Past Event: "I went to see the movie."
Past Event: "We discussed the movie in class."

Here, we don't know which order the events happened in. That may be important -- perhaps I went to see the movie after the discussion, or maybe I saw the movie before the discussion. There are many ways to make this sequence clear, and the past perfect is one of them. This is how we do it:
"I went to see the movie. We had discussed the movie in class."

Here, we know that the discussion took place first — even though the sentence describing it comes afterwards. We discussed the movie, and then I went to see it. This can be very useful when you are telling a story or relating a sequence of events. At any point in your story, you can jump back to a previous event, and your reader will not be confused because the past perfect will make it clear that the event happened previously.

Here is another example:

- Simple Past: "I wanted to live in a foreign country, so I applied for a job in Japan. Judy lived in Japan, so I called her to find out more about the culture and lifestyle there."
(Judy was probably still living in Japan when I called her.)

- Past Perfect: "I wanted to live in a foreign country, so I applied for a job in Japan. Judy had lived in Japan, so I called her to find out more about the culture and lifestyle there."
(Judy no longer lived in Japan — she returned from there before I applied for the job.)

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/410/grammar/pastpf.htm
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Vincent Law
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Re: TENSES - Past Perfect

Post  Vincent Law on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:51 pm

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Re: TENSES - Past Perfect

Post  Vincent Law on Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:40 pm


When we talk about something that happened in the past we sometimes want to refer back to something that happened before that time. We can use the past perfect tense (had + past participle) to do this.

Look at these two sentences.

"John left the house at 7:30 yesterday morning."
"Mary rang John’s doorbell at 8:15 yesterday."


Both actions happened in the past so we use the past simple tense. But look at how we can combine the sentences.

"Mary rang John’s doorbell at 8:15 yesterday but John had already left the house."

We use the past perfect (had left) because the action happened before another action in the past (Mary rang the doorbell.)

Look at some more examples of the past perfect.

"When Mrs Brown opened the washing machine she realised she had washed the cat."
"I got a letter from Jim last week. We’d been at school together but we’d lost touch with teach other."


The past perfect is used because they were at school before he received the letter. It refers to an earlier past.

Look at these 2 sentences.

"James had cooked breakfast when we got up."
"James cooked breakfast when we got up."


In the first sentence, the past perfect tells us that James cooked breakfast before we got up. In the second sentence, first we got up and then James cooked breakfast.


+ Past perfect continuous:

The past perfect can also be used in the continuous.

"I realised I had been working too hard so I decided to have a holiday."
"By the time Jane arrived we had been waiting for 3 hours."


NOTE:
The most common mistake with the past perfect is to overuse it or to use it simply because we are talking about a time in the distant past.

"The Romans had spoken Latin."

Remember that we only use the past perfect when we want to refer to a past that is earlier than another time in the narrative.

http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/grammar-reference/past-perfect


Last edited by Vincent Law on Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: TENSES - Past Perfect

Post  Vincent Law on Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:45 pm

7 Perfect Activities to Teach the Past Perfect:

You'll love these activities when the time comes to practice or review this tense with your class. If you think these Past Perfect activities are as perfect as this tense is, please share the link on Facebook, tweet about this poster, pin it onto your Pinterest board, or mention it in an email to your fellow teachers! Happy teaching!


http://busyteacher.org/12645-how-to-teach-past-perfect-7-activities.html
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