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English Grammar – Past Perfect

Form of Past Perfect

  • P: He had spoken.
  • N: He had not spoken.
  • Q: Had he spoken?

Use of Past Perfect

Past Perfect Simple is used for actions taking place before a certain time in the past.


I had typed five pages when my computer suddenly crashed.
Before 2002, I had not worked abroad.

Signal Words of Past Perfect

already, just, never, not yet, once, until that day, If Clause Type III (If I had talked, …)

Exercise on Past Perfect

Complete the sentences in Past Perfect.

  1. Without any reason, the customer returned the goods that we (deliver) .
  2. Before Ellen could say anything, Cindy (hang up) the phone.
  3. When William was employed, I (work / already) here for three years.
  4. I (start / just) to type the letter, when the phone rang.
  5. When I (send) the mail, I realised that I (forget) to attach the file.
  6. Sue and Tom are best friends, though before the meeting last month they (know / not even) each other.
  7. Catherine (meet / not) Phil Brown before the trade fair in May.
  8. We spoke about the conference that (take place) the week before.
  9. After the meeting I thanked Misses Last, who (manage) everything.
  10. (you / gain) experiences in that field before you started to work for us?