Past Perfect Simple Tense in English

In the last couple of articles in this series, we talked about the present perfect simple and present perfect continuous tenses. Now, we’re going to talk about the past perfect tenses. This article is about the Past Perfect Simple tense. This article and the next use tenses which can be swapped for one another. It’s important that you can recognise both.

Past Perfect Simple Tense: What is it?

The Past Perfect Simple Tense is used to describe something that has been done in the past. When you are talking about a certain time, the event has already happened. It must not be ongoing. It can refer to a continuous action, but it must have been fully completed by the time you talk about it.

Past Perfect Simple Tense: How Does It Work?

He had talked
Subject + had + verb in past tense.

Past Perfect Simple Tense: What Are The Issues?

When a native speaker uses this, they will often combine the subject and the auxiliary verb, “had.” So, “You had sailed” might be shortened to, “You’d sailed.”

Past Perfect Simple Tense: Some Examples

He had talked.
You had jumped.
I had sailed.
She had wondered.
We had danced.
They had ran.
Billy had listened.


Using this and our other articles, you will be able to build sentences in English. This article will help you to talk about events of the past, and why they are important in the present.

As always, if your first language is English, and you are trying to learn a different language, you can use this information to look up the correct way to make sentences in your target language.

Using this particular article, you’ll be able to tell somebody that you or another person did an action in the past.

Other Articles in this Series:

Past Simple Tense.
Past Progressive Tense
Present Simple Tense.
Present Progressive Tense.
Present Perfect Simple Tense
Present Perfect Progressive Tense
Past Perfect Simple Tense
Past Perfect Progressive Tense

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