Pattern and Function Past perfect Tense. In the previous post I have shared about, present perfect tense and simple past tense, so now I want to share another tense in English. It is about Past perfect Tense.
|( + ) Subject + had + V3|
Dandy had done his homework.
We had discussed our plan.
|( – ) Subject + had + not + V3|
Dandy had not done his homework.
We had not discussed our plan.
|( ? ) Had + Subject + V3|
Had Dandy done his homework?
Had we discussed our plan?
- We use the past perfect tense to talk about what happened before a point in the past. It looks back from a point in the past to further in the past.
I checked with the supplier and they still hadn’t received the contract.
She had already told him before I got a chance to give him my version.
The company had started the year well but was badly hit by the postal strike.
He told me they had already paid the bill.
He said he believed that John had moved to Italy.
I thought we had already decided on a name for this product.
- The past perfect tense is also used in unreal or hypothetical situations, as in the following sentences:
If I had had enough money, I would have bought you a better present. (but I didn’t have enough money.)
I would have been very angry if you had laughed when I got the answer wrong. (but you didn’t laugh, so I wasn’t angry.)
She wouldn’t have been able to finish, if you hadn’t helped her. (but you did help her and she did finish.)
- The Past Perfect Tense is also used with expressions such as “as if” and “as though”:
John looked as if he had done something terrible.
She looked as though she hadn’t slept all night.
She had studied math before you moved to England.
She had gone to Malang when I called her.