Notes On Past Perfect Tense - CBSE Class 7 English Grammar

FUNCTIONS OF THE PAST PERFECT

The past perfect refers to a time earlier than before now. It is used to make it clear that one event happened before another in the past. It does not matter which event is mentioned first - the tense makes it clear which one happened first.

In these examples, Event A is the event that happened first and Event B is the second or more recent event:

Event A Event B
John had gone out when I arrived in the office.
Event A Event B
had saved my document before the computer crashed.
Event B Event A
When they arrived we had already started cooking.
Event B Event A
He was very tired because he hadn't slept well.

FORMING THE PAST PERFECT

The Past Perfect tense in English is composed of two parts: the past tense of the verb to have (had) + the past participle of the main verb.

Subject had past participle
Affirmative
She had given
Negative
She hadn't asked.
Interrogative
Had they arrived?
Interrogative Negative
Hadn't you finished?

PAST PERFECT + JUST

'Just' is used with the past perfect to refer to an event that was only a short time earlier than before now, e.g.

  • The train had just left when I arrived at the station.
  • She had just left the room when the police arrived.
  • had just put the washing out when it started to rain.

Summary

FUNCTIONS OF THE PAST PERFECT

The past perfect refers to a time earlier than before now. It is used to make it clear that one event happened before another in the past. It does not matter which event is mentioned first - the tense makes it clear which one happened first.

In these examples, Event A is the event that happened first and Event B is the second or more recent event:

Event A Event B
John had gone out when I arrived in the office.
Event A Event B
had saved my document before the computer crashed.
Event B Event A
When they arrived we had already started cooking.
Event B Event A
He was very tired because he hadn't slept well.

FORMING THE PAST PERFECT

The Past Perfect tense in English is composed of two parts: the past tense of the verb to have (had) + the past participle of the main verb.

Subject had past participle
Affirmative
She had given
Negative
She hadn't asked.
Interrogative
Had they arrived?
Interrogative Negative
Hadn't you finished?

PAST PERFECT + JUST

'Just' is used with the past perfect to refer to an event that was only a short time earlier than before now, e.g.

  • The train had just left when I arrived at the station.
  • She had just left the room when the police arrived.
  • had just put the washing out when it started to rain.
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