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This tense is formed with HAD and the PAST PARTICIPLE. It is therefore the same for all persons.

Ex. I had worked – I’d worked

       He had not worked – He hadn’t worked

       Had they worked?


Sometimes we talk about something that happened in the past :

  • Sara arrived at the party

This is the starting point of the story. Then if we want to talk about things that happened before this time, we use the past perfect.

  • When Sara arrived at the party, Paul had already gone home.
  • When we got home last night, we found that somebody had broken into the flat.
  • Karen didn’t want to come to the cinema with us because she had already seen the film.


Compare :


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Compare the past perfect and the past simple


  • “Was Tom at the party when you arrived?”       “No, he had already gone home”

but                             “Was Tom there when you arrived?”   “Yes, but he went home   soon  afterwards.”


  • Ann wasn’t at home when I phoned. She was in London..

But                             Ann had just got home when I phoned: She had been in London.


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