Grammar Rules: Past Perfect Tense

Written by Leny Ortega

In the previous post, we have discussed present perfect tense. Now, we continue with the rules on past perfect tense.

Past perfect tense is used to express an action that took place before another past action. The auxiliary verb had + past participle of the verb is used to form the past perfect tense.   This tense is also called the had tense.

Examples

1. I had prepared the salad when my nephews arrived home.

2. Frieda had entered the grades before Melissa started to compute her grades.

3. The student had received the report card before her mother asked for it.

4. Kristine had never complained before yesterday.

5. Julius had studied Thai before he moved to Thailand.

Exercise: Underline the correct form of the verb for each sentence.

1. We (waited, had waited) at the mall for half an hour when my friend (came, had came) into view.

2. The family of the fallen policemen (receive, had received) financial help from NGOs before the government (announced, had announced) its monetary assistance.

3. Josefa (had worked, worked) as a secretary before she (became, had become) the company president.

4. Rumors about the wedding (had come, came) out when people (saw, had seen) them together from the church.

5. There (was, is) heavy traffic because it (had rained, rained) so much the whole day.

Answer:

1. The correct answer here is had waited and came. This means that the waiting part took place before the arrival of her friend.

2. Had received, announced

3. Had worked, became

4. Came, had seen

5. Was, had rained

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