When we talk about something that happened in the past we sometimes want to refer back to something that happened before that time in the past.
We can use the Past Perfect tense to do this. The Past Perfect Formula: had + past participle
Look at these two sentences.
- Steve left the house at 7:30 yesterday morning.
- Alice rang Steve's doorbell at 8:15 yesterday.
Both actions happened in the past so we use Past Simple
But look at how we can combine the sentences.
- Alice rang Steve's doorbell at 8:15 yesterday but Steve had already left the house.
So, we use Past Perfect
(had left) because the action happened before another action in the past (Alice rang the doorbell.)Look at some more examples of the Past Perfect
How to Use the Past Perfect
- I had eaten dinner so I wasn't hungry.
- It had snowed all night, so the bus didn't arrive on time
When to Use the Past Perfect
- Statement: Alex had studied English before he moved to Europe.
- Question: Had he studied English before he moved to Europe?
- Negative: He had not studied English before he moved to Europe.
USE 1 Completed action before something in the past – завершенное действие перед событием в прошлом