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LEARN ENGLISH PAST PERFECT SIMPLE VERBS

To form the past perfect simple tense we need the past simple tense of the verb "to have" and the past participle of another verb. To form the past participle of the regular verbs, we need to add "-ed" to the verb.

Example

We had studied the past perfect simple already. (Ya habíamos estudiado el pasado perfecto simple)

Some verbs have spelling changes when adding "-ed".

Example

If the verb ends in "-e", we only add "-d" to form the past participle.

They live in a big house. (Viven en una casa grande)

They had lived in a big house. (Habían vivido en una casa grande)

If the verb consists of only one syllable and the last three letters are: consonant plus vowel plus consonant, we will double the last consonant and then add "-ed".

The police stop the car. (La policía para el coche)

The police had stopped the car. (La policía había parado el coche)

*Note: there are many verbs that form their past participle in an irregular way, so you have to learn them by heart, as they do not follow the above-mentioned rule.

Example

They had seen that film twice already. (Ya habían visto esa película dos veces)

For the negative form we use "not" after the verb "to have".

Example

We had not (hadn't) been in that restaurant before. (No habíamos estado en ese restaurante antes)

For the interrogative form we place the verb "to have" in front of the person.

Example

Had you finished when she arrived? (¿Habías terminado cuando ella llegó?)

SOME GENERAL USES

We use the past perfect simple tense when we are talking or writing about the past and we want to say that one action happened before another past action.

Example

I called you this morning but you had already gone to work. (= you went to work before I called you) (Te llamé esta mañana pero ya te habías ido a trabajar)

He failed the exam. Had he studied at all? (Él suspendió el examen. ¿Había estudiado algo?)

She had studied, that's why she passed with such a good result. (Ella había estudiado, por eso aprobó con tan buenas notas)

In some cases we can find the words "for" or "since" with the past perfect simple to indicate the duration or starting point of the action in the past.

Example

They had been waiting for the bus for hours. (Habían estado esperando el autobús durante horas)

He had not smoked since his wedding up until today.(Él no había fumado desde su boda hasta hoy)

Lets us conjugate a verb as an example. We are going to take the verb "to study".

Positive

Negative

Question

I had studied hadn't studied had I studied?
You had studied hadn't studied had you studied?
He had studied hadn't studied had he studied?
She had studied hadn't studied had she studied?
It had studied hadn't studied had it studied?
We had studied hadn't studied had we studied?
You (all) had studied hadn't studied had you studied?
They had studied hadn't studied had they studied?