Past Perfect Tense

We use the Past Perfect Tense to talk about an event in the past that happened before another event in the past.

Think of the Past Perfect as the past of the past.

1st 2nd now event event

I had left the cinema when she arrived.

I was at the cinema. I left the cinema. She arrived at the cinema after I left.

1st event= I left the cinema. 2nd event= she arrived.

We had already eaten when they invited us to dinner.

We ate before they invited us.

1st event= we ate. 2nd event= they invited us to dinner.

We use the Past Perfect Tense for the event that happened first (1st), and we use the Past Simple Tense for the event that happened second (2nd).

Making the Past Perfect Tense

+ I had left the cinema when she arrived. s='I' + had + past participle='left'

- I hadn't left the cinema when she arrived. s='I' + had + not + past participle='left'

? Had you left the cinema when she arrived? had + s='you' + past participle='left'

Pronunciation

I had left the cinema when she arrived.

I hadn't left the cinema when she arrived.

Had you left the cinema when she arrived?