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  • Past perfect

    Exercise 3

    Complete the sentences using the words in brackets in the past simple or past perfect.

    1I was worried because Jim (not call) yet.

    2I was so worried that I (call) Jim.

    3I couldn't find the trousers that I (buy) in Candem market.

    4I couldn't find my favourite trousers so I (decide) to wear a skirt.

    5I lied to them and they (get) furious.

    6They were angry, but why? (I/make) a terrible mistake?

    7John asked me if I (see) his dog.

    8John didn't have his dog. Apparently the dog (run) away during some fireworks.

    9I couldn't find the keys. Where (I/put) them?

    10My boss was upset, so I (try) to talk to him.


  • 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)
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