Exercise 1

Read the order in which the events happened and then choose between the past simple or past perfect forms to complete the sentences.

1 First, I wrote a letter. Second, I showed him the letter. ⇒ I showed him a letter that I .

2 First, I wrote a letter. Second, I showed him the letter. ⇒ I wrote a letter and a few days later I it to him.

3 First, I looked through the window. Second, it started raining. ⇒ When I looked through the window, it raining.

4 First, it rained. Second, I looked through the window. ⇒ When I looked through the window, it .

5 First I had dinner. Second, you called. ⇒ When you called, I dinner.

6 First you called. Second, I had dinner. ⇒ When you called, I dinner.

7 First, she bought a T-shirt in the sales. Second, she gave it to me. ⇒ She bought a T-shirt in the sales and it to me as a birthday present.

8 First, she bought a T-shirt in the sales. Second, she gave it to me. ⇒ She gave me a T-shirt that she in the sales.

9 First, the teacher arrived. Second, I finished my composition. ⇒ When the teacher arrived, I my composition.

10 First, I finished the composition. Second, the teacher arrived. ⇒ When the teacher arrived, I my composition.


 

 

Past perfect form and use – grammar chart

 
Past perfect form and use

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Past perfect form

 
We make the past perfect with had/hadn’t + past participle-ed for regular verbs and the 3rd column form for irregular verbs.

  • I hadn’t been there before.
  • She had never worked.

The past perfect is the same for all persons.

  • I/you/he/she/it/we/they had left when I arrived

We can contract had to ‘d.

  • I called him, but he’d gone to a meeting. 

 

Past perfect use

 
We use the past perfect when we are talking about the past and then we want to talk about something that happened earlier in the past.

  • When I got out of work I saw that somebody had stolen my car. 
  • Yesterday my mother told me that she had seen you in the park.

 

Past perfect or past simple?

 
We use the past simple to describe a series of past event in chronological order, and we use the past perfect to make clear that one of the events happened before. Compare these two sentences:

  • When I arrived, she left. (=She left after I arrived.)
  • When I arrived, she had left. (She left before I arrived)

 

Be careful with this common mistake!

 
The contraction ‘d can be had or would. Remember that we use an infinitive form after would and a past participle after had.

  • I‘d love to go to your party. (= would)
  • I noticed that he‘d eaten my cake. (= had)