PAST PERFECT SIMPLE

 Creation:

had + past participle / -ed

She had helped him before she left.    Had she helped him before she left?    She hadn't helped him before she left.    Yes, she had.   No, she hadn't.


1. Past perfect expresses the action which finished before the other action (before it actually started) in the past.

Before he came to Brno, he had been in Prague. After he had left Prague, he came to Brno. When he came to Brno, he had already heard a lot about it. When I arrived at the airport, I realised that I had forgotten my passport at home. I cooked my lunch but before that I had done my homework. I had visited Jane before I came at home.

   In the pictures below you can see the same situation in two different tenses. The first shows that the narrator told at first "I visited Jane" and then he told "then I came at home". The second shows that the narrator told us at first "I came at home" and then he remembered that he had forgotten to tell us another important fact "I had visited Jane". From the situation we can see that it is very easy to avoid usind past perfect tense - just tell everything in the correct sequence (we use past tense).

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  It happends sometimes that people want to emphasise the information and they can also do it within past perfect. So they can also say "I had visited Jane and then I came at home." - the information was told in the correct sequence and so they do not have to use past perfect but using it the information is more emphasised.


PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS

Creation:

had been + -ing


She had been waiting for him before he turned up.    Had she been waiting for him before he turned up?    She hadn't been waiting for him before he turned up.    Yes, she had.    No, she hadn't.

 

1. Past perfect continuous expresses the action which is the same as in past perfect but we want to emphasise that it continued for longer time.

Before I cooked my lunch, I had been reading the book for more than two hours.