The good news: the past perfect is not as commonly used as the present perfect in English.
More good news: the past perfect is not *quite* as complicated as the present perfect.
Of course, I wouldn't call it "easy,' either!
What does it look like?
- HAD+ past participle
- Example: He had studied English before he came to the US.
- Example: He had left the house before Bob.
I've forgotten the past participle forms. Where can I find a list?
- Here is a good list of irregular verbs from MYENGLISHTEACHER.net. The past participle forms are written in orange.
- For regular verbs, the past participle is the same as the past simple: just add "ED"
What are the rules for using past perfect?
- Typically, past perfect is used to refer to an action or event that happened before another past action or event.
- Example: I had studied English before I came to the US. (I studied first; then, I came.)
- It can also be used to talk about something that happened for a period of time, but ended at a specific past time.
- Example: I had lived in Germany until 1999.
For one helpful, clear explanation and more examples, visit English Page.com here.
For another (longer) explanation, you may also visit this British Council page here.
I understand now (I think). Where can I get some practice?
Here are some exercises to try!