Past Perfect Tense structure is an important topic that has been discussed in the following with proper rules to use in sentences and examples.
Past Perfect Tense
We use past perfect tense to speak about an action completed before a given moment in the past or that has already been completed in the past.
Example: When I reached home, she had already cleaned the room.
In the above sentence, the action words are ‘reached’ and ‘had cleaned’. Both action words are used to talk about past actions. But the past action ‘had already cleaned’ was completed before another past action ‘reached’. The first completed past action would be in the past perfect tense and the later past action would be in the simple past tense.
We use Past Perfect when one past action was completed before another past action. We use Simple Past to express an action that happened in the past.
Rules to use of Past Perfect tense
There are some rules that are discussed below about the use of past perfect tense in sentences in following the situations.
to talk about an action that happened before another action in the past:
- Example: My mother had cooked dinner before we arrived.
to talk about an action that had already been completed before a certain time in the past:
- Example: By early morning, Rohit had finished cooking.
When the two actions are performed in the past, the first action will be in the Past Perfect form and the rest will be in Simple Past form. The perfect form will be placed before the word – “ before” and after the word – “after”.
- Example: He had come before I did.
- Example: He left after I had gone away.
Past Perfect Tense with Time Expression:
- By: By 9 a.m. they had finished their homework.
- Already: My mother had already done her cooking when I called her.
- After: The train left the station after we had reached the station.
- Before: The patient had died before the doctor came.
- Just: I had just finished my homework when my friend arrived.
- Ever/Never: They had never seen such a beautiful sunset in their lives.
Past Perfect Tense Structure and Examples
The examples of Past Perfect Tense structure in different sentences have been presented in the following. Get them for practical use while speaking or writing.
Positive Sentence or Declarative Sentence
Subject + Had + Verb ( Past-Participle Form) +Object.
|1st||I had eaten rice.||We had eaten rice.|
|2nd||You had eaten rice.||You had eaten rice.|
|3rd||He / She / (It) had eaten rice.||They had eaten rice.|
- He had played football.
- Students had made mistakes.
- You had read history.
- John had done the work.
- We had gone to school.
Subject + Had + not + Verb ( Past-Participle Form) +Object
|1st||I had not eaten rice.||We had not eaten rice.|
|2nd||You had not eaten rice.||You had not eaten rice.|
|3rd||He / She / (It) had not eaten rice.||They had not eaten rice.|
- He had not played football.
- Students had not made mistakes.
- You had not read history.
- John had not done the work.
- We had not gone to school.
Had+Subject+Verb ( Past-Participle Form)+Object?
|1st||Had I eaten rice?||Had we eaten rice?|
|2nd||Had you eaten rice?||Had you eaten rice?|
|3rd||Had he/she/(it) eaten rice?||Had they eaten rice?|
- Had he played football?
- Has she completed the work?
- Had you read history?
- Had John done the work?
- Had you watched the movie?
|Had+Subject( If Pronoun) + Not + Verb (Past-Participle Form)+Object?|
|Had + Not + Subject (If Noun)+ Verb(Past-Participle Form) +Object?|
- If the Subject is “NOUN”, “Not” will be placed before “Subject”.
Example:- Has not Messi made a goal for Argentina?
- If the Subject is “PRONOUN”, “Not” will be placed after “Subject”.
Example:- Have they not completed the task?
|1st||Had I not eaten rice?||Had We not eaten rice?|
|2nd||Had you not eaten rice?||Had you not eaten rice?|
|3rd||Had he or she or it( Pro N) not eaten rice? |
Has not John( N) eaten rice?
|Had they not eaten rice?|
- Had he not played football?
- Had she not completed the task?
- Had you not read history?
- Had not John done the work?
- Had you not watched the movie?
Change of Sentences in Past Perfect Tense
Special Uses of Past Perfect Tense
In many cases, it is seen that the outcome of another action depends on some action in the past. In such case, we use 'could have', 'would have', and 'might have', according to sense and then put the past participle of the corresponding main verb according to sense and then put the past participle of the corresponding main verb. But the verbs in the other clauses (on which the above verbs depend) are only in the past perfect tense.
- If Ravi had studied hard he would have scored well on the exam.
- If you had not entered service rather late in life you might have reached the top of the ladder.
- Had the boy been more attentive he could have shown better results.
- He could have died in peace if his son had been able to earn.
|Could Have||Might Have||Would Have|
|You could have reached.||He might have been out.||He would have reached here.|
|I could have gained.||You might have died.||I would have resigned.|
Sentence: Sita would have finished the work in time if she had started it earlier. In this sentence, the fact that Sita would have finished the work on time depends on her starting the work early. For such dependent clauses as 'Sita would have finished the work on time', we use 'could have', 'would have', and 'might have', according to sense and then put the past participle of the corresponding main verb. But the verbs in the other clauses (on which the above verbs depend) are only in the past perfect tense. But if this clause starts with 'if' then 'had' is placed after the 'subject', But if it doesn't start with 'if' then the clause should be started with 'had' before the 'subject'.
- Had I been in your position, I would have resigned.
- If I had been in your position, I would have resigned.
- Had the boy been more attentive, he might have scored good marks.
- If the had been more attentive, He might have scored good marks.
No sooner …. than, Hardly .. when, Scarcely … before with Past Perfect tense
No sooner …. than, Hardly .. when, Scarcely … before These three correlatives have the same meaning. But No sooner with than, Hardly with when, and Scarcely with before (or when) should be used, and 'had' is placed before the subject.
- No sooner had the rain stopped than he started.
- Hardly had the rain stopped when he started.
- Scarcely had the rain stopped before/when he started.
- Scarcely had he entered the class when the bell Rang.
- No sooner had he returned home than his father sent for him.
- Scarcely did they reach home when it began to rain.
1. Complete the following sentences with the Past Perfect Tense of the verbs given in brackets:
(a) Karim …………………… (arrive) before the bus left.
(b) The robbers…………………………. (flee) before the police arrived.
(c) After the children . …………………… (stand) in a row, the Headmaster began to speak.
(d) He ………………………….(complete)the work before I reached there.
(e) As soon as you . …………………….. (go), your grandmother wanted to see you again.
(f) After he ………………………………. (go), I went to sleep.
(g) He thanked Rathin for what he………………………………… . (do).
(h) He dressed after he ………………………… (wash) property.
(i) Before help reached us, one old man ………………………………..(die).