Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The PAST PERFECT: The past before the past.

The past perfect grammar structure is as follows:

HAD + past participle

Remember:  Regular verbs have the same past participle as the past tense:
        Ex. walk/walked/walked, talk/talked/talked, create/created/created
                     Irregular verbs have a different past participle than their past tense:
        Ex. go/went/gone, do/did/done, eat/ate/eaten

We use the past perfect to express an action that happened in the past before another action that happened in the past.  Imagine the two events happening in time:

Alice broke up with her boyfriend Christopher.
Alice kissed Mason.

Isn't it important to know which happened first?  Let's imagine both scenarios and the implications using the past perfect:

        Alice had kissed Mason before she broke up with Christopher.  (Alice cheated on her boyfriend.)

        Alice had broken up with her boyfriend Christopher before she kissed Mason.  (Alice did not cheat on her boyfriend.)

The past perfect can clarify the order of events in the past tense.  This is why we use this grammar structure.


  1. "Many moments that i had taken for granted - mostly because I had assumed that we would have more" Is that sentence correct?

    1. Your sentence does not have a main verb. Also, your sentence has two verbs in the past perfect, which makes the order of the events unclear. Which happened first...taking moments for granted or assuming you would have more? ...Well, I think the first thing was that you assumed you would have more moments, so then you took things for granted. The sentence should be "There were (main verb) many moments that I took for granted mostly because I had assumed that we would have more." Hope that makes sense :)


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