How do we use the past perfect?

The past perfect is used if there are two past actions. Both of these actions have finished, but one of the actions occurred first. We can simply use the past simple and give the time, for instance: I got up at 7 o´clock and I had breakfast at 8 o´clock. However, we usually use the past perfect to state that the first action finished first, I had already got up and then I ate my breakfast.



Form and word order: SUBJECT + HAD + PAST PARTICIPLE

+ I had seen the film when you recommended it to me.

– I had not worked in a bank before I started my new job.

? Had you met my brother before you saw him yesterday?


The past perfect also forms part of the third conditional, see examples here

Speaking questions:

  1. Did you study English before you had finished high school?
  2. Had you done a lot of studying before you signed up for this course?
  3. Had you visited your university before you started attending it?
  4. Had you already met your teacher before you went to class?
  5. Had you been born in Italy, would you eat pizza every day?
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