Past perfect tense | Meaning | Structure | Negative and positive sentences | Example

Past perfect tense is a part of Past tense. Past tense indicates an action that has happened or has already taken place.

What is past perfect tense?

Past perfect tense indicates that an action was completed at some point in the past before something else happened.

However, It is used to express two types of actions which occurred or took place in the past. It gives a sense of completion of an activity in past. Past perfect tense can also be used to state an action that occurred somewhere in the past.


  • I had walked for two miles.
  • She had slept.
  • He had sent me his picture a year ago.
  • I had lost my phone.

The past perfect formula

The past perfect tense formula is had+ [past participle]. The formula doesn’t change no matter the subject is singular or plural.

Structure of sentence

Main verb: Past participle (3rd form of the form) e.g. gone, written, etc.

Auxiliary verb: Had

Positive sentences

Subject + Auxiliary verb + Main verb+ Object.

Subject + Had +Past participle+ (3rd form of verb)+ Object.

For example:

  • She had cooked a cake.
  • He had bought a new mobile.
  • They had shifted to a new place.
  • I had lost my pen.

Negative sentences

Subject+ Auxiliary verb + NOT+ main verb + Object.

Subject+ Had+ Not + Past Participle + Object.

For example:

  • She had not finished her homework.
  • I had not visited him.
  • They had not cleaned their room.
  • He had not informed me about his pain.

Interrogative sentences

Auxiliary verb+ Subject+ main verb + Object

Had+ Subject + Past participle+ Object.

For example:

  • Had you completed your homework?
  • Had you thought about your future?
  • Has she appeared for her exams?
  • Has he waited for you?

However, These are some of the examples of past continuous tense. You can use these rules while framing sentences.

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