July 20, 2024

Past perfect Tense -I had done

Past Perfect tense

It is a past of past means long past.  We use it when two actions occurred. In two actions; an earlier action is used in past perfect Tense and later action in past simple tense.

Earlier action (preceding action), Later action(succeeding act)

Sub + had + action III + Obj.                                       Sub + action II

   Past perfect͠                       before ͠                          past simple

Past simple                             After               Past perfect tense

  • The patient had died before the doctor reached his home.
  • The train had left before I reached the station.
  • He had already read this whole book before I came home.
  • I came after he had gone.
  • She had gone from home when I came to meet her.
  • They had just taken lunch when Students entered the staff room.
  • I didn’t look at anything until I had finished my conversation with the prime minister of India.
  • After he had gone from home, I found money in his suitcase.
  • Before I went to bed, my cousin had come to me.


Some time expressing adverbs and conjunctions are followed by perfect tense:

Ever, just, recently, already, so far, yet, up to now, by the time, by + time, after, before, never, till, just then etc.

By the time, subject  + verb 2nd form, subject + had + verb 3rd form (1st action).

  • By the time, I reached the theatre, my friends had already come there.
  • Rahul told me that He had never been to France.
  • I got to know that she had not done his work so far.
  • I found that she hadn’t come home yet.
  • It was the best decision I had ever made.

 If the work was supposed to accomplish in past but wasn’t completed, we generally express it by some verbs:

hope, expect, think, mean, intend, suppose, want

 These verbs are used to denote expectations that weren’t fulfilled. In this situation, All the verbs are used with past perfect tense. Examples:

  • He had wanted to go abroad but unfortunately, he lost his money.
  • She had hoped to see her brother but she couldn’t.
  • My father had expected to settle me in Canada (but I didn’t settle).
  • He had been supposed to meet me.  (but did not meet)
  • He had expected to get selected for an interview.   ( but could not)
  • I had intended to open my café.    (but I could not open it)

Note: if there is no time gap in two actions, we use Simple Past Tense, not Past Perfect Tense.


  • When she scolded her child, he began to weep.
  • When the teacher came, all the students sat silently.
  • He got up early in the morning and finished his morning chores and then he went for a morning walk.     (past routine)  – no time gap
  • As soon as the peon rang the bell, the students left their classes.


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