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Past Perfect

Part 2 – Past Perfect
(1.5 hours)
FORM: [had + past participle]
Examples:
• You had studied English before you moved to New York.
• Had you studied English before you moved to New York?
• You had not studied English before you moved to New York.
USE 1: Completed Action Before Something in the Past
The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can
also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.
Examples:
• I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Kauai.
• I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.
• Tony knew Istanbul so well because he had visited the city several times.
• Had Susan ever studied Thai before she moved to Thailand?
USE 2: Duration Before Something in the Past (Non-Continuous Verbs)
With Non-Continuous Verbs and some non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Past Perfect to
show that something started in the past and continued up until another action in the past.
Examples:
• We had had that car for ten years before it broke down.
• By the time Alex finished his studies, he had been in London for over eight years.
• They felt bad about selling the house because they had owned it for more than forty years.
IMPORTANT: Specific Times with the Past Perfect
Unlike with the Present Perfect, it is possible to use specific time words or phrases with the Past
Perfect. Although this is possible, it is usually not necessary.
Example:
• She had visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.
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