Past Perfect Tenses

The past perfect is a verb tense used to talk about actions that were completed before some point in the past.

The Past Perfect = had + V3

The past perfect passive says the something had been done by someone before some time in the past: The city had been defended by the brave men. The window had been broken by the little girl. Had the problems been solved by Dorothy? Five banks had been robbed by those prisoners.

The Past Perfect Passive = had + been + V3

The past perfect continuous tense (the past perfect progressive tense) shows that an action that started in the past continued up until another time in the past.

The Past Perfect Continuous tense = had been + V-ing

Task 1 . Use the verbs in brackets in the Past Simple, Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous Tense.

  1. My friend Tim ___________________ well yesterday because he ___________________ too many sweets. (NOT FEEL / EAT)
  2. After she ___________________ , she ___________________ much better. (REST, FEEL)
  3. She ___________________ him for a year before they finally ___________________ on holidays together. (KNOW, GO)
  4. I asked him what ___________________ because I _______________________ noise the whole morning. (HAPPEN, HEAR)
  5. The next morning, I realised that someone ___________________ my new bike. (STEAL)
  6. I ___________________ to the meeting last Monday because nobody ___________________ me. (NOT GO, INVITE)
  7. Dan was so excited because he ______________________ €1,000 in the lottery. (JUST WIN)
  8. After she ___________________ her first major tournament, she ___________________ from a series of injuries. (WIN, SUFFER)
  9. Our manager told us that the company ___________________ bankrupt. (GO)
  10. I ___________________ to pass the test because I ________________________ hard for a whole week. (MANAGE, STUDY)
  11. When we finally ___________________ at the stadium the match _______________________ onfor  half an hour. (ARRIVE, GO)
  12. Before we ___________________ for Spain, I ___________________ to teach her some Spanish. (LEAVE, OFFER)
  13. We ______________________ for 10 minutes when we finally ___________________ the train station. (WALK, SEE)
  14. The suspect ___________________ the house when the police ___________________ . (JUST, LEAVE, ARRIVE)
  15. Sampson ___________________ his report by the time father ___________________ home (FINISH, COME)
  16. She wasn’t hungry because she ___________________ lunch. (JUST HAVE)
  17. We _______________________ for a while before we ___________________ some fish. (FISH, CATCH)
  18. I told the police that I ______________________ the man in the photo before. (NOT SEE)
  19. After I _____________________ the letter, I _____________________ that I _____________________ the wrong address on it. (POST, REALISE, WRITE)
  20. John asked me where I _____________________ the day before. (BE)
  21. At this time yesterday, we ___________________________ for 6 km. (ALREADY WALK)
  22. When I _____________________ through the streets of Madrid, I _____________________ about the magnificent time I _____________________ there as a student. (WALK, THINK, SPEND)
  23. It was the first time that she _____________________ me to dinner. (INVITE)
  24. As soon as the maid _____________________ scrubbing the kitchen floor, she _______________ working in the garden. (FINISH, START)
  25. We started to worry about Jimmy because we _____________________ him all afternoon. (CALL)
  26. They _____________________ their way out of town before the sun _____________________.(ALREADY MAKE, RISE)
  27. We _____________________ for two hours when we finally got to our hotel. (DRIVE)
  28. When I _____________________ home, I saw that the children _______________________.(ARRIVE, LEAVE)
  29. While I _____________________ in the garden it __________________ me that I __________________ off the oven. (WORK, STRIKE, NOT TURN)
  30. I _____________________ my best friend to the party, but he couldn’t come because he _____________________ other plans. (INVITE, ALREADY MAKE)
  31. I _____________________ out of the window because I _____________________ I _____________________ some noises. (LOOK, THINK, HEAR)
  32. We _____________________ TV when we saw that a devastating earthquake ________________ California. (WATCH, HIT)
  33. The police told me that someone __________________ into our neighbour’s house. (BREAK)
  34. When I finally _____________________ at the airport, he told me that he _____________________ for half an hour.(ARRIVE, WAIT)
  35. Patricia _____________________ English for three years when she _____________________ and __________________ a job. (STUDY, QUIT, GET)
  36. We _____________________ to China because our flight _____________________ on short notice. (NOT GO, CANCEL)

Task 2. Put the sentences into passive voice. Use the past perfect passive.

Example: Dr. Richard had saved Silvia’s life. – Silvia’s life had been saved by Dr. Richard.

  1. The Americans had discovered another planet.
  2. Hospital staff hadn’t accepted the injured man.
  3. Jerry had received the check just in time.
  4. Jim had received an anonymous gift.
  5. Who had designed the plan of that villa?
  6. Firefighters had put out the fire successfully.
  7. The teacher had given the books to the pupils.
  8. My mother had given me an apple.
  9. They had finished the job by Monday.
  10. I had learnt an important lesson.
  11. Ada had made a big mistake.
  12. Dorothy had won a big prize.
  13. They had informed him.
  14. Mother had punished her son.
  15. I had paid the money.

Task 3. Complete the sentences using the past or past perfect tense simple. Use the past perfect continuous if necessary.

  1. We were all happy because we __________________ in our homework in time. (HAND)
  2. Mrs Shilton __________________ a primary school teacher for twenty years before she became headmaster of the school. (BE)
  3. When we got there, we saw that they ______________________ for over 20 minutes. (REST)
  4. We ________________________ dance moves for over two hours, so you can imagine we were very tired. (PRACTICE)
  5. The film ______________________ when we finally got to the cinema. (ALREADY START)
  6. By the time I __________________ to school the lesson had already started. (GET)
  7. I ____________________________ up for a few minutes when the doorbell rang and our friends arrived. (ONLY WASH)
  8. He __________________ about the accident before he saw it on TV. (HEAR)
  9. I __________________ the office after I had finished writing my last email. (LEAVE)
  10. The car __________________ down shortly after we had got on the motorway. (BREAK)
  11. We _________________________ for an hour when we finally arrived at the remote village. (WALK)
  12. I saw the film after I __________________ the book. (READ)
  13. I had already thought of that before you __________________ it up. (BRING)
  14. She was so tired because she _________________________ football the whole afternoon. (PLAY)
  15. As soon as the girls had cleaned the house the visitors __________________. (ARRIVE)
  16. By the time I was 16 I ______________________ to become a scientist. (ALREADY DECIDE)
  17. Suddenly I realised that I _________________________ at the wrong person. He was absolutely innocent. (SHOUT)
  18. I ____________________ from my job because I had received an offer from another company. (RESIGN)
  19. The teacher gave us a break because we ______________________ on the project for several hours. (WORK)
  20. After dad had finished mowing the lawn, he ____________________ repairing the car. (START)
  21. By the time we __________________ to the stadium, the performance ______________________, so we missed the first two songs. (GET, ALREADY START)
  22. When we __________________ in Spain the airport management told us that they __________________ our luggage.(ARRIVE, LOSE)
  23. After I __________________ a large meal, I __________________ to feel sick. (HAVE, START)
  24. The shoes were very clean because I __________________ hours cleaning them. (SPEND)
  25. It __________________ his first trip to India. He __________________ there several times before. (NOT BE, BE)
  26. My neighbour told me that she __________________ a new car a month before. (BUY)
  27. Yesterday I __________________ downtown to see Peter. I __________________ him for months. (GO, NOT MEET)
  28. I __________________ Matrix for the first time yesterday. I __________________ it before. (SEE, NEVER SEE)
  29. She __________________ him for very long when she __________________ to get married. (NOT KNOW, DECIDE)
  30. When he __________________, the party was over. Everyone __________________. (ARRIVE, ALREADY LEAVE)
  31. I was happy after I __________________ my first lesson as an instructor. (FINISH)
  32. I visited the hospital where the ambulance __________________ my mother. (TAKE)
  33. Everyone __________________ the house by the time I __________________ home. (LEAVE, COME)
  34. As soon as he __________________ the old clock on the wall it __________________ again. (REPAIR, BREAK)
  35. I __________________ a new car because my old one ____________________ (BUY, BE STEAL)
  36. The teacher asked me why I __________________ my homework. (NOT DO)