Hello everyone,

This is me, Past Perfect Tense.  You can call me Pluperfect Tense as well. I am defamed as the most dangerous and challenging tense. Many people misunderstand me with Past Indefinite Tense. I will explain to you in detail the difference between me ( Past Perfect ) and Past Indefinite soon in another chapter. Right now focus on me ( Past Perfect Tense.)  Among all the tenses, after Past Indefinite, I am the most used tense in writing and day to day conversation. As people often are found clinging to their past though is not a good habit at all. Whatever the matter is, I can be helpful to those who are fascinated with their past and feel nostalgic. I help Past Indefinite in the storytelling and explaining recent/distant past actions.

Before going further, read the lines below to understand me thoroughly.

I, Past perfect tense often show the action before /after any …another action.

Understand it with an example: –


You saw a boy in your garden. He had plucked some mangos from your garden tree. You got panicked and called him. By listening to your voice, the boy ran away. When you returned, your mother asked about the whole incident.

When your mother asked you why you hadn’t stopped him to pluck. How will you explain it to your mother? You will tell her:-

“ The boy had already plucked the mangos before I saw him. “

If your mother asked you –

” Why didn’t you scold him?” You will reply:-

“ The boy ran away after I           had called him. “

Thus clearly,  you can observe how Past Perfect shows a connection with another action that happened before or after one particular action.

Thus you can define me in the following way:-

Definition of Past Perfect Tense

“ Past Perfect talks about the actions that were completed prior to some past point of time “ 

Nisha had broken my trust before I thought to tell her everything. 

Disha opened the gate after I had gone to check. 

He had already cracked his JEE Mains. (—-)

Note: In Past Perfect sometimes you see statements in a single clause 

( Part). But if you go through the statement being insightful, you will find 

another clause is also there in a hidden form.

See this example:-

He had already cracked his JEE Mains. (-..)

 i.e. He had already cracked his JEE Mains (before anything else )

He had already cracked his JEE Mains ( before cracking any other exam .)


He had already cracked his JEE Mains ( before he met me.)

before anything else. The overall second clause will always be there in hidden form. 

Key Features of Past Perfect / How to recognize Past Perfect


  1. Had+V3 ( Perfect Participle ) Talks about the recent/distant past
  2. Often consist 2 clauses and the second clause is framed in Past Indefinite 
  3. Two clause talks about 2 different actions taking place one after another 
  4. The following verbs help you to recognize me easily

     Already, Ever, Never, Before, Just, Till, now.

When to use Past Perfect Tense

1. To Express an action, already had finished in a recent or distant past. past:

( Just, Recently, Already, Yet, Till, Now)

Example- I had already heard this story. So I did not wish to listen to it again.

Ankita had just gone to sleep. So I did not feel it good to call her again.

2. To Express an action, already finished when another action

 had finished or started in past.

Example- The bell had rung before the peon closed the gate.

The bell rang after the peon had closed the gate.

3. To Express a hypothetical expression

 ( Unreal action, Hopeless action, Wishes)

Example- I wish, I had visited Delhi last month.

Oh, that! She had not wasted her time.

4. To show Hypothetical expressions in a Conditional Statement 

If had not driven fast, I would not have met with such an accident.

Samadhi had not left me If I had behaved well with her.

5. To Express an action, almost completed in past

I had almost caught the thief. But he disappeared

suddenly somewhere like a ghost.

I had finished my work when I heard a strange noise outside.






Structure of Past Perfect Tense

Structure type 1 ( Common Use )


Subject+ Had + V3 +Object.

Singular/Plural- Had

Example- I had written a letter

They had left the city.

Structure of Past Perfect Negative

Subject+ Had + Not/Never + V3 + Object.

Example- I had not visited Kashmir yet.

                  My friend had never visited my village.

Structure of Interrogative Past Perfect ( Typ3 1)

Had+ Subject+ V3+ Object

Example- Had you ever been to Paris?

Had you visited Kanpur ever?

Structure of Past Perfect Interrogative Type 2

‘ Wh ‘ family word + had + Subject+ V3+ Object.

Example- Why had you not finished your homework by last night?

Where had he stayed for two months?

Structure of Past Perfect Interrogative Type 3

How much/ How many/ Whose/ Which + Related Noun +Had+ Subject+ V3 + Object.

Example- How much money had you spent on your I phone?


How many apples had you eaten?


Structure of Interrogative Negative

( I ) Had + Subject + Not + Subject + VIII + object

( ii )WH family word + had +  Subject + Not + Subject + VIII + object

(iii) How much/ How many/ Whose/ Which + Related Noun +Had+ Subject+  Not + V3I + Object.

Example- Had you not finished your project till last Monday?

Why had you not taken your lunch today?

How much money had you not spent on your I phone?

Past Perfect Structure Type 2 –

When one action had taken place before the completion of another action.


Past Perfect+ Before+ Past Indefinite

Remember Before’  can be replaced  with- ‘When’ also

Example- We had arrived at the school before the bell rang.

He had not started his journey when It started raining.

Had you seen my home when you passed my street?

Past Perfect Structure Type -3

When one action took place after the completion of another action.

Past Indefinite + After + Past Perfect

Remember After’ can be replaced  with ‘ When ’ also

Example- We arrived at the school after the bell rang.

He did not start his journey when it started raining.


Did you see my home when you had passed my street?

Published by Buds of Wisdom

I am Meena Kumari, PGT(English)+ B.ed. Teaching is my passion. Love to guide students in Grammar Learning and build up their writing skills.

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