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