Past Perfect Tense

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Introduction

The past perfect (or pluperfect) describes an action that was completed in the past, usually before something else happened.

Form

The past perfect is formed by combining had with the past participle:

You had baked such a fantastic pie.

They had tasted success for the first time.

Negative Form

Simply add not:

We had not thought that possible.

Asking Questions

Use the regular form:

Had he spotted the sniper?

Uses

Actions Completed in the Past

I had noticed you were behaving oddly.

By the time the whistle went, we had scored five tries.

More Information

For more information, please see our introduction to all twelve verb tenses in English.