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Past perfect


Introduction

We use the past perfect to describe:
Examples:

Form

We form the past perfect with "had" + past participle:

Positive I / You / We / They
He / She / It
'd
had
been there before.
Negative hadn't
had not

question Had I / you / we / they
he / she / it
been there before?

Examples


Practice

Complete the sentences with the past perfect positive, negative or question form of the verb in brackets:

.
1)
I    to see him at the party last night but he wasn’t there. (expect)

 
2)
They    that it was raining when they left the house. (not realise)

 
3)
   he    the company before he went for the interview? (research)

 
4)
They didn’t receive my letter because I    it to the wrong address. (send)

 

Further practice

Complete the sentences with the correct answer from a, b, c or d:
.
1)
We ____ to go to China for many years before we went last summer.
 

 

2)
She ____ him for many years before they got married.
 

 

3)
They didn’t buy a map because they ____ there many times before.
 

 

4)
____ the ending of the film before it finished?
 

 

5)
She hadn’t ____ any French before she went to France.
 

 

6)
____ before the meeting started?
 

 

Further language point

We use the past perfect with "ever" / "never" to describe the subject’s experience at a time in the past (we use the present perfect to describe the subject’s experience including up to the present):

Positive I / You / We / They / She / He / It 'd
had
never been to Italy.
Negative hadn't
had not
ever

question Had I / you / we / they / she / he / it ever been to Italy?

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