The Past Perfect Tense


We don't use the past perfect a lot in English, but it is useful, and it sounds very good if you can use it correctly. Also, it's really easy to make - just the past simple of 'have' and the past participle.

(Learn about USING the past perfect here)

The positive - make it with 'had' + the past participle (usually made by adding 'ed' to the infinitive, but a few verbs have irregular past participles):

(Also, here's some help if you are not sure how to pronounce '-ed' at the end of a verb).

The short form for 'had' is 'd.
(Be careful not to confuse it with 'would'. Would is followed by the infinitive - 'I'd go', whereas had is followed by the past participle - 'I'd gone').

For the negative just add 'not':

Here's a exercise about the positive and negative forms.

And to make a 'yes / no' question put 'had' before the subject:

For 'wh' questions put the question word at the beginning:

Finally here's an exercise about past perfect questions.

Learn about USING the past perfect here



If you want to learn more about the tenses, especially about how to use them when you're speaking, you could try my video course, Terrific Tenses, which is part of Perfect English Grammar Plus.