What is the Past and Present Perfect Form?

The perfect form is a verb tense that consists of the present perfect, the past perfect, and the future perfect. We use it when talking or writing about actions completed in the present or a specific moment in the past or future.

What is past perfect tense with examples?

The past perfect tense form is a verb tense used to talk about actions and events completed at some specific point in the past. Here are some excellent and straightforward examples of the past perfect tense in action:

  • Had met: She had met him before the party.
  • Had left: The plane had left when I got to the train station.
  • Written: I wrote the email Monday morning.
  • Had wanted: Kate wanted to see the show but did not have money for the ticket.

Similarly to the present perfect tense, there are some variations of the past perfect tense to learn. The past tense consists of the following:

  • simple past/past simple;
  • past continuous/past progressive;
  • past perfect.

The past perfect tense is usually formed by combining the past tense of ‘had’ with the past participle of the verb used. So, for example, ‘I bake’ in the present tense becomes ‘I had baked’ when you use the past perfect tense.

Further examples

‘We returned from holiday and found someone had stolen our wheelie bin.’

If you told someone this story, they would be able to figure out that the theft of your wheelie bin had occurred before your arrival back from holiday because the past perfect tense was used.

What are the other verb tenses?

  • The present tense — is used to describe something currently happening.
  • Future tense — describes events that will take place.
  • Future perfect — describes events that will take place before another action.
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