Welcome to your Past Perfect lesson! In this topic we talk about:
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When do we use the Past Perfect?
Imagine this situation:
Yesterday I went to the bus stop. I arrived at 10:45. The bus wasn’t there. The bus left at 10:30. So:
By the time I arrived at the bus stop, the bus had already left.
“Had left” is the past perfect simple. The auxiliary is always HAD.
The Past Simple is mostly used when telling a story in the past:
I arrived at the party.
This is the beginning point of the story. If I want to talk about something that happened before this point, I would use the Past Perfect:
By the time I arrived at the party, James had already left.
Here are some more examples:
When I arrived at the airport, I found out that the plane had been delayed.
Mark didn’t want to see the film with us. He had already seen it.
I was happy when I bought my car, then I realized that I’d made a big mistake.
She was sat next to a man that hadn’t flown before.
The Present Perfect or the Past Perfect?
- We use the Past Perfect to talk about an event before a past action.
- The auxiliary is always HAD.