Past Perfect

Past Perfect – past perfect tense in English. It is usually used to indicate events that completed before any action in the past or when it is necessary to emphasize that one action preceded another in the past. The Past Perfect is formed using the verb to have in the third form (had) and a verb with the ending -ed added to it, and in the case of an irregular verb, the third form from the table of irregular verbs is used.

Past Simple
Signal wordsUseForm



not yet


until that day


actions that took place before a certain time in the past

A finished action before a second point in the past

Something that started in the past and continued up to another action or time in the past

To talk about unreal or imaginary things in the past


had + past participle*

*(infinitive + ed) or (3rd column of table of irregular verbs)

The general scheme of using the Past Perfect on the example of the verb – to work

I/ He/She/It/ You/We/They had workedI/ He/She/It/You/We/They

had not worked

Had I/ He/She/It/You/We/They


The general pattern of using the Past Perfect with the example of the incorrect verb to go

Since this is an incorrect verb, turning to the table we get:

to gowentgone

Then, according to the scheme, we will get:

I/ He/She/It/ You/We/They had goneI/ He/She/It/You/We/They

had not gone

Had I/ He/She/It/You/We/They


Past Perfect is also called The past of the past or double past. This is because this tense indicates that something happened earlier than the Past Simple.


  • I had done 
  • Had she sung?
  • I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet 
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