Past Perfect Tense Material – Definition, Formulas, Example Problems

Hello, this time the educator will discuss Past Perfect Tense Material, starting from the definition, formula, use, to examples of past perfect tense questions.

A. Definition of Past Perfect Tense

Past perfect tense is a tense that expresses an event that has occurred in the past and was also completed in the past. It can also be used to express an event that occurred in the past before other events (in the past as well) occurred.

The tenses in English vary greatly according to the time of delivery which you can all learn in the book Definitely Can! English Communicative Teaching 12 Tenses Grammar Materials.

B. Past Perfect Tense formula

Basically, the past perfect tense comes from simple past + present perfect tense. If the present perfect tense uses the keyword have/has, in the past perfect tense the keyword is had (past form have/has) and the verb used is V3. The auxiliary verb “had” is used for both singular and plural subjects . Here is the form of the formula:

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C. Adverb of Time

The time information used in the past perfect tense is:

Before: Before

After: After

When: When

Until: Until

Just: Just now

As soon as: As soon as possible

By the time: At that time

D. Use of Past Perfect Tense

1. Declare an event that occurred in the past before another event occurred

2. Declare an event that occurred before a certain time in the past

3. Stating how often an event occurred in the past

4. Declare a news (reported text) that we have never heard of before, and this news was conveyed by someone else.

5. State an answer derived from a simple past question.

E. Examples of Past Perfect Tense Questions

Theme : Tenses (Past Perfect Tense)

1. We arrived at the cinema late. the movie . . . .
A. have already started

B. has already begun

C. had already begun

D. had already begun

Discussion:
This sentence means ‘We were late for arriving at the cinema. The film has started.’ and this event occurred in the past/past tense (we arrived). So, the correct verb and past perfect form to complete the sentence is ‘had already begun’.

2. I was very pleased to see Andre again after such a long time. I … her for three years.

A. haven’t seen

B. has seen

C. hadn’t seen

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D. had seen

Discussion:
This sentence means ‘I am very happy to see Andre again. I haven’t seen him for three years.’ and this event happened in the past/past tense (was very pleased). So, the correct verb and past perfect form to complete the sentence is ‘hadn’t seen’.

Theme: Past Perfect Tense

3. ________ (go) to Amsterdam when you called her?
A. Had she gone
B. Have she gone
C. Has she gone
D. Are she going
E. Will she go

Discussion:

In that sentence, He (she) HAS left, then you (you) called. Both occurred in the past, so activities that have been completed use the past perfect tense, while activities that occurred after the previous activity was completed use the past tense.

4. Before I mentioned him, I … (never, hear) of the author.

A. Never heard
B. Never had heard
C. Had never heard
D. Had never heard
E. Never heard

In the sentence there is the word “before” which indicates that the first activity occurred before the second activity. Activities that have been completed use the past perfect tense, while activities that occurred after the previous activity was completed use the past tense.

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Theme: UNIT IV APPENDIX

5. I wasn’t sleepy yet. I … for hours.

A. had just slept

B. have just slept

C. has been sleeping

D. was sleeping

Discussion:
The meaning to be conveyed through the sentence is “I’m not sleepy yet, I’ve just slept for a few hours”. The tense in this sentence is the past perfect tense. So, the verb is: had + V3.