English Grammar – Past Perfect – 73 examples

This post and video are showing past perfect topic valuable information, and we also cover the following subjects:

  • When to use it?
  • Keywords
  • Positive Form.
  • Negative Form.
  • Question Form.
  • WH Question Form.
  • Article.
  • 73 Examples.

When to use the Past Perfect?

  • To talk about unreal situations in the Past.
  • When one action happened before a specific time in the past
  • To show a past action that happened before another action in the past.
  • Something that started in the past and continued up until another action in the past.

Past Perfect Keywords

We often use the past perfect:

  • Before, after, when.
  • by + time reference.
  • Because.
  • Just, already, yet.

Past Perfect Positive form

Subject + had + past participle [verb 3] + complement.

P.P Contraction:

  • I had worked = I’d worked.
  • You had worked = you’d worked.
  • We had worked = we’d worked.
  • They had worked = they’d worked.
  • He had worked = he’d worked.
  • She had worked = she’d worked.
  • It had worked = It had worked.
  • (we don’t usually contract the “It had”, we don’t say that “It’d”).

Past Perfect Positive form Examples

  • After I had eaten, I drank a cup of tea.
  • After I had studied, I went out to play.
  • My wife had gone home when I arrived.
  • After I had left home, someone stole it.
  • I had visited India before I moved there.
  • I had met Sally before I left the company.
  • When we arrived, the meeting had started.
  • I would help my students if they had asked.
  • She had given me the book before she went.
  • Sally had bought the book before she read it.
  • He had done his homework before he went out.
  • Majed went to the gym after he had eaten dinner.
  • I had got promoted because I worked really hard.
  • Before we moved, we had already sold the house.
  • We had ordered chicken, and we had made dessert.
  • We decided to stay at home because it had started to rain.
  • I had brushed my teeth, before I went to bed last night.
  • I had bought my computer for 3 months before it broke.
  • If I had had enough Money, I would have bought a new car.
  • My mother had cleaned the house, before the guests arrived.
  • I would have done my homework if my teacher had helped me.
  • After I had watered the trees, my daughter played and got dirty.
  • She had passed the exam because she was studying every day.
  • He had already done his homework when he went to the cinema.
  • We had done intermediate level of English before end of the year.
  • When I got home last night, my mother had already cooked dinner.
  • I was pleased when I got a text from Sami because I’d lost his number.
  • By the time she graduated, he had been in New York for over two years.
  • When we got home last night, we found that somebody had broken into the flat.

Past Perfect Negative form

Subject + had not + past participle [verb 3] + complement.

P.P.N Contraction:

Had not = hadn’t.

Past Perfect Negative form Examples

  • He was tired because he hadn’t slept well.
  • My friends hadn’t ever gone to Saudi Arabia.
  • I had not eaten at that restaurant before today.
  • I hadn’t finished riding my bike when I saw Mary.
  • Jane hadn’t been to Disneyland until last month.
  • Jameel hadn’t had time to explain her side of the story.
  • When he arrived home, he had not heard the news yet.
  • I had not eaten at the restaurant before I went yesterday.
  • Jim had not been to the circus before he went last week.
  • He was excited because he hadn’t ridden a horse before.
  • She hadn’t set the table, after you done your homework.
  • I couldn’t get on the flight because I hadn’t booked a ticket.
  • I hadn’t won the competition because I didn’t train very well.
  • You had not studied English before you moved to New York.
  • We hadn’t known each other for 2 months before we married.
  • Your interview went badly because you hadn’t prepared for it.
  • The cat hadn’t chased the bird for very long before it flew away.
  • She didn’t know his name because she hadn’t seen him before.
  • When I went to bed, I hadn’t done my homework, I had forgotten.
  • We were not able to get a hotel room because we had not booked in advance.
  • My brother hadn’t contacted me for weeks, then suddenly, he invited me for coffee.
  • We hadn’t waited for our parents, when I switched on the TV, the news had just finished, the film hadn’t started yet.

Past Perfect Question form

Had + Subject + past participle [verb 3] + complement + ?

P.P.Q form Short answer:

Yes, he had. (no contraction).
No, he had not. Or! No, he hadn’t.

Past Perfect Question form Examples:

  • Had your son finished his homework? Yes, he had.
  • Had they informed their clients? Yes, they had.
  • Had you brushed your teeth before you went to bed? Yes, I had.
  • Had he eaten lunch by noon? No, he hadn’t.
  • Had it rained before they left? Yes, it had.
  • Had you studied English before you moved to New York? Yes, I had.
  • Had you cleaned up the mess by the time they came home? No, I hadn’t yet.
  • Had Sam ever spoken to the CEO before he was fired? Yes, he had.
  • Had my mother cooked dinner, when I arrived home? Yes, she had.
  • Had your sister set the table, after you finished your homework? No, she hadn’t.
  • When my father arrived home, had we already eaten dinner? Yes, we had.
  • When I switched on the TV, had the news just finished? Yes, it had.
  • Before the film ended, had our parents fallen asleep? Yes, they had.
  • When you went to bed, had you done your homework? No, I hadn’t.
  • Had you ever visited the U.S. before your trip in 2006? Yes, I had been to the U.S. once before.

Past Perfect WH Question form

WH + Had + Subject + past participle [verb 3] + complement + ?

Past Perfect WH Question Examples

  1. Where had he traveled before? He had travelled to Mexico.
  2. Who had she talked to before? She had talked to her father.
  3. What had you eaten before lunch? I had eaten an apple before lunch.
  4. How long had he known her before he dated her? He had known him for five years. 
  5. What had they said that made him so angry? They had said he was lazy.
  6. Why had he agreed to work for that salary? He had agreed because he needed money.
  7. What had you done? I had worked in a supermarket.


The Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg was one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He started playing at the age of nine, when his father gave him his first racket.

Before that, Bjorn had played hockey and football by the age of fourteen, he had left school to dedicate all his time to tennis.

Sweden had never had a tennis champion before, but by his twentieth birthday, Borg had already won two French Open Championships and he had beaten tennis legends Manuel Orantes and Guillermo Vilas to win them. When he first won.

Wimbledon in 1976, people were surprised because he hadn’t done well on grass before, but he went on to win another four times. By the age of 26, he had also collected six French Open titles.

Watch it On YouTube

Other posts in English Grammar Tense