Skip over navigation

ARCHIVED SAMPLE - course no longer available

   
 

Grammar and StructureGRAMMAR & STRUCTURE — Examples
Past Perfect

 
 

Examples sentences using the past perfect:

Past Perfect Sentence

First Action

Second Action

Explanation

I had lived with my girlfriend for two years before we got married.

had lived

got married

The two past actions are "live with his girlfriend" and "get married". The use of the past perfect (had + past participle) shows which is the first action.

Kelli had tried on ten pairs of shoes when she found the perfect pair of shoes.

had tried on

found

The two past actions are "try on shoes" and "find the perfect pair of shoes". The use of the past perfect (had + past participle) shows which is the first action.

The employee had worked at the company for twenty years when she retired.

had worked

retired

The two past actions are "work at the company" and "retire". The use of the past perfect (had + past participle) shows which is the first action.

After I had locked the door, I closed it.

had locked

closed

The two past actions are "lock the door" and "close the door". The use of the past perfect (had + past participle) shows which is the first action.

She said she had bought a new car.

had bought

said

This is an example of the past perfect in reported speech. The past perfect shows the "more past" of the reported action (buy a car).